Northwestern State University School of Creative and Performing Arts will present “Modern in Motion” VIII on Oct. 16 at 6 p.m. and Oct. 17 at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. on the Fleur de Lis Stage on the Downtown Riverbank in Natchitoches.
Department head of theater and dance, and associate professor of dance, Brett Garfinkel said that in this era of COVID-19 safety has been the utmost concern for rehearsals and performances.
“Modern in Motion was always designed to bring a dance performance to an unlikely performance space and be inspired by the environment,” Garfinkel said. “While the dancers are 6 feet apart they will not be wearing masks and as their distance shortens they will put their masks on. The audience will be far enough away from the performers.”
Show choreographer and Associate Professor of dance, Kirstin Riehl, said that the Riverbank offers both beauty and safety to support the performance.
“Live performance is something that’s just been missing from our lives since COVID-19 hit. Modern in Motion offers the audience unity with art and a sense of normalcy,” Riehl said.
As an effect of COVID-19, the dancers will not be able to interact with the audience as they have with past performances.
First year NSU Associate Professor of dance and another choreographer of the show, Michael Lomeka, said that in the past “Modern in Motion” has been more interactive and more of an immersive experience, where this year there will be designated audience and performance areas.
Despite the changes, Lomeka is both confident and excited about the upcoming performance.
“I’m starved for art. The talent of live theatre, of live music that’s been gone from all our lives for half a year now,” said Lomeka. “We’re all hoping that [Modern in Motion] will be a boost to everyone’s spirits, and a reintroduction of live performance into people’s lives.”
John Jefferson, a junior dance performer, hopes that “Modern in Motion” provides people a
deeper understanding of the importance of performed arts and how devastating it has been to have almost all forms of the arts indefinitely paused during the pandemic.
Jefferson also said there are 23 people cast in the show and three choreographers.
“When we are not wearing masks we are socially distancing within the performance. As a student dancer, I do feel comfortable with the steps taken thus far,” Jefferson said.
“Modern in Motion” will include the choreography styles of contemporary ballet, modern and tap.
“The performance is always well received by the community and this is the first time that tickets are based on what anyone can afford making the show a give back to the community,” Garfinkel said.