Photo: Chloe Haigh
Dancers in photo: Tina Pongratz, Stephanie Cowan,
Lauren Ashford performing in Anna Hanmann’s piece entitled “A Sky Full of Stars”
GISS Dance has produced an unlisted YouTube playlist entitled “Dancing In, Dancing Out”. Because the theatres have shuttered us out, we needed to pivot and reinvent. Along with dance artists around the world, we needed to reinvent. With reinvention, comes innovation, and with innovation comes unique challenges.
The GISS dancers aged 14-19, overcame these challenges and produced a wonderful, deeply moving collection of choreographic works. The playlist’s title comes from the site-specific nature of these new pieces. Some students chose to perform in our dance studio with theatrical lighting. We did our best with the equipment that we had on hand to recreate a theatrical setting. The pandemic has required of all of use to be resourceful and to use what is at hand. Some students embraced the film making and chose settings that became our ‘set’.
Chloe Haigh, Amaru Seki, Sarah Weis, and Mischa Engel Larrain, for example, made a quality film of their piece entitled “Eastside”. They used the architecture of our local library to frame their dancing. The scenes move then to locations that are meaningful to each of the dancers. Sarah chose a beautiful forest scene to embrace her sweeping hip hop arm movements and bouncy grooves. Amaru filmed one scene in the GISS cafeteria after working hard in that kitchen in his 10 week foods course.
Chloe Haigh honoured this dance piece as a farewell to GISS, and a farewell to GISS Dance. After four years of great dancing, she bids us a sad farewell, and therefore chose meaningful locations around the school, and also her family’s bookstore.
In the lovely, lyrical dance piece “A Sky Full of Stars” international student, Anna Hanmann chose Beddis Beach as the stunning location for her film. With five dancers in flowing black skirts and ocean-blue leotards, and the sounds of the waves lapping at the shore, the final product is stunning.
I hope that our community will watch these films and be proud of what these teens have made. Without the immediate feedback of the audience applause at ArtSpring, the teens are curious to feel that their art has made a difference in this world. I hope that our community can support these youth, these beautiful films that they have made.
For a link to the unlisted YouTube playlist, please email email@example.com.