A past performance of Of Moving Colors Productions. Photo courtesy Of Moving Colors Productions.

Dance companies adapt to a socially distant fall season

COVID-19 has now successfully wreaked havoc on spring, summer and soon-to-be fall. If there’s one takeaway from the whole pandemic, it’s the necessity of adaptability. Local dance companies are no exception to finding a new normal. Adjusting to the circumstances, they’re coming up with novel ways to bring the joy of dance to the community in light of the pandemic.

“Social distancing is a completely foreign concept to us because the work that we create is designed to be tactile,” says Garland Goodwin Wilson, artistic director of Of Moving Colors Productions. “But we’ll still distance and we’ll still dance.”

In the spirit of evolving with the times, Of Moving Colors has created a virtual program that will produce digital content featuring dancers from Baton Rouge as well as all around the nation. Unsurprisingly, they’re not the only company coming up with new ways to dance.

“Dancers want one thing: they want to perform,” says Christine Perkins, communications director of Baton Rouge Ballet Theatre. “We’re providing them with as much opportunity to bring beautiful dance to the Baton Rouge stage. It’s going to be different but they can’t wait to be dancing again.”

Baton Rouge Ballet Theatre dancer Riley Richard. Photo by Eye Wander Photography.

Changes include an inevitable switch to the digital sphere.

“In order to keep everyone safe, we’re excited to put on a three-part Zoom rendition of The Nutcracker,” says Perkins. “It’s a fun way to keep everyone engaged with the company and bring art to the community in a safe way.”

Some may argue that dance is trivial in times like these, but in reality, it might just be the glimmer of hope we desperately need. Though performances may be a little different, that magical notion felt by each and every audience member will remain the same.

“In times of chaos, an artist’s work still holds importance,” says Wilson, “because an artist has a much-needed voice of hope and connection in a time of darkness. Dancers specifically—unlike any other art form—are able to communicate what words cannot express.”

For more information on upcoming events, check out the websites for Of Moving Colors Productions and the Baton Rouge Ballet Theatre.