An Irresistible Force in an Immovable Lockdown
Dance is an irresistible and irrepressible impulse. Even with the Covid-19 lockdown, dancers gotta keep dancin’. As the stay at home order extends through May, live performances are likely to be in the last stage of reopening, maybe summer? SoCal dance won’t be back in theaters soon, but is alive, adapting, and finding fertile possibilities on-line, innovating with digital summer intensives, podcasts and video channels.
Companies are streaming past performances to compensate for cancelled spring seasons, and dance videos have gained more prominence whether a thread of solo dancers tag teaming a movement sequence, dancing on the roof, the backyard or their kitchen. The popular long-running video competition Dare to Dance in Public curated by Sara Elgart has been joined by her new challenge, Six Foot Distance Dances (details on how to submit at https://www.culturalweekly.com/). Starting May 14, Dance Camera West screens 60 films from its 2020 dance film festival on Ovid TV, details at http://www.dancecamerawest.org/. Dance Resource Center also has been tracking similar opportunities at https://www.danceresourcecenter.org/.
And then there is the explosion of dance classes! The lockdown has concentrated on the internet the geographically far-flung world of SoCal dance classes. While lacking the camaraderie and live teacher attention, the proliferation of top-notch zoom, instagram and other on-line dance classes verges on mind-boggling. With many classes free, low cost or suggesting a donation, here’s a chance to keep or start dancing and also explore new styles, genres and teachers. The diversity of SoCal dance is captured in classes that range from flamenco to folkloric, contemporary to tap, ballet to jazz, hula to hip hop, and so much more. One central source, LA Dance Chronicle https://www.ladancechronicle.com/, constantly updates its listing of on-line dance classes including cost and contact info. Grab a chair, clear off a corner of the room and use this time to dance. Those donations and class fees help keep SoCal studios, companies and dancers dancing until we can see them live again. Meanwhile, here’s a memorial nod to the cancelled events that dancers and choreographers had hoped to share this week.
JazzAntiqua Dance Ensemble at Brand Library & Art Gallery, Glendale; Sat. May 9. http://www.jazzantiqua.org/.
Shen Yun all SoCal venues in April and May have been postponed. https://www.shenyun.com/.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ann Haskins has written about dance for L.A. Weekly since shortly after it began publishing. She also has written about local and national dance for Pointe Magazine, Dance Spirit Magazine, Dance Teacher Magazine, Los Angeles Magazine, L.A. View, Coast Magazine, the Daily News, and the Herald Examiner. Among her broadcast projects, Ann hosted Inside Theater on KCRW-FM and contributed dance and theater features to both KLON-FM and KUSC-FM. She has received two Horton Awards from the Los Angeles Dance Resource Center for her coverage of dance in Los Angeles.