The University of South Carolina dance program will premiere a selection of student-created dance films April 23-25 with its online broadcast of the Student Choreography Showcase.
Admission is free with an option for donation. Show times are 7pm, April 23 and 2pm, April 24-25. To reserve a virtual seat and receive a streaming link, click here.
Eleven works spanning 3-5 minutes each will be featured in the virtual concert, which is being directed by UofSC dance instructor Olivia Waldrop. Aside from the time limitation and a requirement to follow COVID-19 safety protocols, the choreographers have been free to follow their own creative muse in conceiving and directing the video choreography.
“It’s been really exciting to see each of them starting with a different impetus,” says Waldrop, who has advised the choreographers over the semester. “Some have been interested in exploring improvisation, some started with music and spoken word, and one wanted to play with shadows. They’re all different.”
While the COVID-19 pandemic was a key factor in the decision to move the biannual showcase off the stage and in front of the camera, Waldrop says the opportunity to explore “screendance” is one the dance faculty have embraced wholeheartedly. The term screendance is gaining in popularity nationwide as a way to describe the fusion of choreography and cinematography as a singular art form.
“This has been a really important experience for our students to reimagine choreography,” she says. “We want to continue that exploration of performance in the digital world because it’s something that won’t go away after isolation. It’s exciting to keep building on providing students with resources, with what we know about cinematic techniques and storytelling, to explore how we put dance on film and tell a story. The students have really jumped all-in to exploring that as well.”
Presenting original works in the concert will be dance majors Lydia Acker, Emily Arnold, Addie Browne, Amy Chan, Aubrey Houle, Ellery Jernigan, Sofia Justo, Elisa Kumer, Maggie Lampl, Natalie Long and Cami Surro.
“The pandemic pressed the fast-forward button on this art form,” says Waldrop. “It’s definitely part of a new movement. Everyone is seeing its value, not to replace live performance, which has its own value and necessity, but to expand accessibility and give new perspective. It will be really interesting to see how the two can support each other.”
For more information on the Student Choreography Showcase or the dance program at the University of South Carolina, contact Kevin Bush by phone at 803-777-9353 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.