What emerges from isolation?
What is born from silence?
This was our theme for the second term of the GISS Dance program 2020. The Covid 19 period of isolation with school, and most of British Columbia, closed and halted. Dance is an art form that holds deep relationships among dancers, it is an art from that is based on teamwork in which dancers live and breathe and move together. The dancers were suddenly uprooted and transplanted. The dancers were left alone.
We call them colloquially, the Covid Solos. You needed to make a dance, all by yourself, with no help, no inspiration, no team, and without even a dance studio. Already missing your friends, missing socializing with other teens, already stuck at home, going on walk after walk after walk with your parents, you were supposed to dig deep and create something. Yikes!— GISS Dance student
Students of the GISS Dance program endured the isolation period by continuing to dance at home. They started by moving furniture, clearing space, finding a flat place in the yard, or a less bumpy spot on the driveway, and thus, created a space to dance. Then, they started by filming themselves doing a warm-up workout. This allowed the youth to establish that dancing and keeping the body in tune are both possible on their own and by themselves at home. A second task for the dancers was to learn a piece of Choreography by one of the popular teachers of Harbour Dance Centre on Granville Street in Vancouver. Going to the online classes, several students chose an upbeat and sassy combination taught by the very popular Carlo Atienza. What a treat to take a class online with him! Many students chose a more melancholy, introspective Contemporary piece choreographed by Chantal Lacasse. Perhaps the solemn mood of the Covid isolation was reflected in her movement. One of the major assignments, however stood out: the Covid Solo. Each student needed to create and perform a solo dance piece.
The Covid Solos are deeply meaningful and echo the tumultuous, somber and wistful emotions of the period of isolation, and reflect the experience of learning in a self-reliant, and self-motivated manner. The creativity of these dancers is to be commended in their heartfelt, and emergent works of solo art. The teens asked of themselves: What emerges from isolation? What is born in silence? The answers lie in the GISS Dance Youtube playlist of their works of choreography.
To watch the work of GISS Dance, please email email@example.com for a link to the unlisted Youtube playlist of the choreography.
Article written by Sonia Langer, Dance, English and GISPA Teacher at GISS