SUNY Potsdam is welcoming the seasonal shift with the Spring 2021 Media Dance Work Series, premiering on Friday, March 5 at 7:30 p.m. on cydance.org. The Virtual Student Choreographers’ Concert, presented by the SUNY Potsdam Department of Theatre and Dance, is a series of media dance works melding student dance, musical composition and videography shared via web hosting—a continuing innovation that was forced by COVID-19 but stands to survive as an important creative outlet well beyond the worst of the pandemic.
The contributions of The Crane School of Music student composers have been added to the performances this semester, for the first time. The student compositions build on last semester’s work, when choreographers joined in collaborative efforts with media arts majors. As studentshave prepared for this Friday’s event, they have been rehearsing, filming and editing their work on a tight schedule and within the guidelines of COVID protocols, said Assistant Professor of Dance Cynthia DuFault.
Student choreographer Nasir Chassé ’22 said his media dance work “Beautiful Chaos” is meant to celebrate women of all nationalities, race, ethnicity, and cultural backgrounds.
“Throughout the work, certain movements were created to symbolize a call and response among the dancers,” Chassé said. “Some portray hardship and are calling out for help. Others provide help, but it all becomes a bit too much at times.”
Choreographer Aicha Konate ’21 described her work, “Pragma,” as “my love piece.”
“The work is about a relationship from the outlook of my life’s philosophy, which is that Irefuse to let anything stop me through the battles of everyday living,” she said. “I find the internal strength, energy, and empowerment. I do it through love.”
DuFault has spearheaded SUNY Potsdam advocacy for media dance and virtual dance instruction. She was a presenter at REMOTE: The Connected Faculty Summit hosted by Arizona State University and attended by 50,000 faculty and administrators last year. Under her guidance and with help from Technical Director Tom Grabowski, SUNY Potsdam students have been successfully adapting dance to a virtual setting, culminating in the Media Dance Works Series,web-hosted at cyndance.org each First Friday of the month at 7:30 p.m. since last fall. To view the Spring 2021 Media Dance Works Series, visit the website each first Friday in March, April, and May, at 7:30 p.m. The performances are free. More information can be obtained by emailingDuFault at firstname.lastname@example.org
The SUNY Potsdam Department of Theatre and Dance engages in highly collaborative arts endeavors ranging from directing, choreographing, acting and dancing to designing, technical work and arts management. For more information visit www.potsdam.edu/theatre.