Watch dance concert “Expressions for Empowerment” online
The dance program at Salve Regina is inviting the University community to watch a recorded dance concert called “Expressions for Empowerment.” The dance concert is available for people to watch anytime online until Jan. 8, 2021, and it is hosted on Vimeo. Password for access to the video is: empowerment.
For the dancers at Salve Regina, everything is different this year. The students have danced in 10 x 10 squares and wear masks during each dance class, and they have taken a lot of movement outside and around campus into a variety of non-traditional spaces because they couldn’t have traditional dance performances on stage or in front of an audience.
“On the bright side, we’ve implemented a major in dance, which many of our students are pursuing, and we have many talented freshmen who came into the program this year,” described Lindsey Guarino, associate professor of dance and chairwoman of the Department of Music, Theater and Dance. “It’s really powerful to see the students use their voices and bodies to stand for what they believe in.”
While the Casino Theatre is the heart and soul of the program and the students live for their time performing on the stage, there was not an option for that during the pandemic. The fall dance concert is a compilation of works that were created for film, all related to themes of empowerment and social justice.
For the dance concert, three guest choreographers worked with Salve Regina’s dancers over Zoom for six longer pieces. Naila Ansari, assistant professor of theatre and Africana studies at SUNY Buffalo State College, and Marquis “Ten Thousand” Burton, slam poet collaborator, led the students through Ansari’s ongoing project, “The Movement of Joy,” which focuses on the performance of joy through the creative archiving of oral histories, movement histories, live-performance and film.
Los Angeles-based Pat Taylor of JazzAntiqua Dance & Music Ensemble choreographed “Time,” a dance of community, protest and standing up for what the dancers believe in. Boston-based alum Cayley Christoforou ’15 set “they said” on a group of eight freshmen, using McAuley hall as the backdrop for her piece about female empowerment. Students Bekah Mendoza ’21, Allie DeLuca ’21 and Morgan George ’22 also contributed new works.
In between the six longer pieces, the audiences will see short phrases choreographed by a variety of students. The phrases are the result of a class project where students reflected on their identity in relationship to the Five Critical Concerns of Mercy. They translated their reflections into movement with the prompt “I Stand For….”
“The dancers have adapted to every challenge without resistance or hesitation. Despite the many challenges, they continued to be deeply invested in the work they are doing,” said Guarino. “I was so proud of them for being open to completely new creative processes, especially because we were all learning and changing course along the way. Ironically, the door opened to new ways of making dance for film that I’m not sure we’d have explored otherwise, but I’m certain will continue into the future.”
The dance concert can be watched anytime online until Jan. 8, 2021, and it is hosted on Vimeo. Password for access to the video is: empowerment.
Featured photo is from a performance in February 2020.