Dance moves outside with live performances, films

Jillian Nelson's "An Act of Departure" is one of the films that will be featured at the Fall Student Spotlight Dance Concert on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings.

By Ashlee Larrison
GCU News Bureau

The arts have had to take a drastic turn because of the pandemic, but the College of Fine Arts and Production (COFAP) viewed it as an opportunity to adapt.

The Fall Student Spotlight Dance Concert is no exception.

Just as the first play of the Ethington Theatre season was performed outdoors, the concert will be in the Quad at 8 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday. But that isn't the only change.

In addition to the new location, it will combine five live performances with seven dance films created by Grand Canyon University students. The films provide two benefits: They avoid having students performing live before a crowd of people, and they can be submitted for dance festivals.

“It’s given students the opportunity to explore this craft in a different way,” said Bekki Price, COFAP Program Development Specialist. “I’m very impressed with the number of dance film submissions we have. They had only three weeks.”

Price also noted how well the students have adapted to the changes and precautions implemented to combat COVID-19.

“I’m just super impressed with their resilience and creativity,” she said. “It’s definitely challenged the students to rely on some of the movement patterns and ideas of connection. It’s definitely inspired them to find new ways to connect with the other performers on stage.”

The dancers will wear masks in the live performances, and close contact will be limited.

Senior Ellie Sheldon is grateful to be able to perform in the Student Spotlight concert. Sheldon and James Lantz choreographed “Wait a Minute … Who Are You?”, which will be performed live at the concert.

“I think that our ability to adapt and create a show that still works for COVID is really awesome,” Sheldon said. “The fact that we’re still able to have our spotlight show is amazing.”

Sheldon also participated in one of the films. 

“Being able to do both for the show is really cool,” Sheldon said. “I think that COFAP and the Dance Department have really kept some of the normalcy for spotlight. They’ve also done a really great job at adapting to make sure that our show is still able to happen because we could have easily just said, ‘Oh, no Spotlight this year.’

“The fact that we’re even able to have this show is amazing and makes me so happy."

IF YOU GO

What: Fall Student Spotlight Dance Concert

Where: The Quad

When: 8 p.m. Tuesday-Wednesday, Oct. 27-28

Admission: Free for students and faculty (students can reserve their spots on the GCU Engage App under the College of Fine Arts and Production)

Contact Ashlee Larrison at (602) 639-8488 or [email protected].

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Related content:

GCU Today: GCU dance community finds a way to keep creating

GCU Today: Dance alumni find support in Zoom meet-ups

GCU Today: Audiences give outdoor stage positive reviews

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Bible Verse

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” 
Romans 8:28