Dance performances return online, outdoors

Glo, shown here performing in 2015, will present a socially distanced performance in Midtown called "Lost loose and loved."
Courtesy of Liliana Bakhtiari
Glo, shown here performing in 2015, will present a socially distanced performance in Midtown called "Lost loose and loved." Courtesy of Liliana Bakhtiari

Credit: Liliana Bakhtiari

Credit: Liliana Bakhtiari

Performing arts

Performing arts have taken a hard hit this year. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, long-anticipated concert dance productions had to be cancelled, postponed or moved online, with dance artists suddenly separated from colleagues, trying to train and rehearse via Zoom. When Black Lives Matter protests gained momentum, some artists joined the fray, while others responded with powerful new creations. From outdoor performances to online presentations, the fall dance line-up captures the urgency of the times as dance artists continue to reach out, support and lift each other up. Here are some highlights:

‘Lost loose and loved.’ Glo choreographer Lauri Stallings presents a socially distanced art happening Sept. 10 and Sept. 12 featuring dancer Mechelle Tunstall and musician Emmolei Sankofa performing on a 2.5-acre lot in Midtown that has been sown with wildflowers. Produced in partnership with the Dewberry Foundation, the event is part of Glo’s initiative to support local essential workers while creating a Midtown spot where people from all walks of life — especially those from marginalized communities — can “heal, hope and reach far,” Stallings said, even while socially distanced. The sloping grounds will be plotted for small groups, sidewalks will be sectioned off, and people in cars can watch from their vehicles. (6-10 p.m. Sept. 10 & 12. Free. Southwest corner of 17th and Peachtree Street NW, Atlanta. gloATL.org)

Dance Canvas choreographer Xavier Lewis rehearses a new work in the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center's pavilion.
Courtesy of Dance Canvas, Inc.
Dance Canvas choreographer Xavier Lewis rehearses a new work in the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center's pavilion. Courtesy of Dance Canvas, Inc.

Credit: Handout

Credit: Handout

Dance Canvas. Under the rusted steel beams of the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center’s outdoor pavilion, a diverse array of choreographers will share work created in conjunction with the art institution’s first Dance Canvas choreographic residency. The residency has given artists a platform to create and show works that respond to the COVID-19 shutdown while addressing issues of racism and inequality. As part of the project, artists will be featured on Dance Canvas’ online “Choreo Chat” series. Xerophile, a local film production studio, is making a documentary about the residency, slated for completion later this year. (Live and online performances Sept. 25-27, times and ticket prices TBA. 535 Means St. NW, Atlanta. atlanta contemporary.org)

‘Long Ago and Only Once.’ Terminus Modern Ballet Theatre had planned to give Ana Maria Lucaciu’s dance theater work “Long Ago and Only Once” its world premiere in May. Because of the pandemic, it was postponed until fall. Now it’s getting its debut in a more intimate video format to be viewed online. Lucaciu, who has danced with many top-level companies and worked with several renowned choreographers, uses clowning techniques to imbue characters with pathos and humor. It’s fitting then that “Long Ago and Only Once” explores the idea of waiting “for something to be completed,” said Lucaciu, “whether it’s a movement, a joke, a sentence, a fact, a personal story. There is inherent conflict for us as an audience when the punch line is being suspended.” (Online Oct. 23-Nov. 21. $35, $50 VIP package with artist talk-back over Zoom. terminus-serenbe.com)

Terminus Modern Ballet Theatre perform "Long Ago and Only Once" by Ana Maria Lucaciu.
Courtesy of T.M. Rives
Terminus Modern Ballet Theatre perform "Long Ago and Only Once" by Ana Maria Lucaciu. Courtesy of T.M. Rives

Credit: T.M. Rives

Credit: T.M. Rives

‘Threshold.’ Kennesaw State University Dance Company will perform original works by Andrea Knowlton, Sean Nguyen-Hilton, McCree O’Kelley and guest artist Thang Dao. The school’s first Dance-for-Camera event will be live-streamed from KSU Dance Theater. (Online 8 p.m. Nov. 12-14, 3 p.m. Nov 15. Free. arts.kennesaw.edu)

Modern Atlanta Dance Festival. Douglas Scott, artistic director of the 27th annual juried showcase, viewed the festival’s move to an online format through a lens of equity and accessibility. He commissioned local composers and videographers to collaborate on filmed versions of the choreographers’ works, which will be shown online. Scott’s contribution, “Restructure,” performed by his company Full Radius Dance, shows how an arts organization can implement change at its foundations. The piece puts society under a similar lens. (Online Nov. 13-14. Free. fullradiusdance.org)

Distance Disco Dance Project. The all-female Zoetic Dance Ensemble will present a new work inspired by the group’s collective quarantine experiences as part of a multi-phase project that also involves a film series and blog featuring artists’ stories of quarantine. The project culminates with a dance film, choreographed by Zoetic artistic director Mallory Baxley with original music by Xavier “Xay Zoleil” Lewis. (Available online Dec. 11. zoeticdance.org)

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