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April 2021

Dance ensemble

The California College Dance Ensemble (Pa.) Takes more than the stage to help the HOPE Center in Tarentum

Dance is more than choreographed steps on a stage.

It’s a performance created to encourage people to take action.

The Dance Ensemble at the University of California, Pennsylvania in Washington County creates dances that focus on the art of movement and advocacy for topics such as autism awareness, suicide prevention, and health. mental.

Their most recent dance highlights domestic violence.

“You can use your time on stage to just dance, or you can use that time to make the world a better place,” said Diane Eperthener-Buffington of Coraopolis, who has been teaching dance at the university for 12 years in the Department of Cultural Media. and performance. She also taught psychology for eight years. “We dive into the subjects. These dancers are selfless. They want to make a difference.

Courtesy of Diane Eperthener-Buffington

Diane Eperthener-Buffington, of Coraopolis, has been teaching dance at the university for 12 years in the Department of Cultural Media and Performance.

Its philosophy is “Dance with a goal”.

The movements are considered modern and contemporary. The facial expressions of the dancers help tell a story. There are spoken parts as well as written words indicating where people can go for help.

The 24-minute dance aired on Wednesday at a college event called Strike a Spark Research Conference.

It is available on YouTube.

It’s National Victims of Crime Rights Week.

Eperthener-Buffington has reached out to help the Alle-Kiski area HOPE center in Tarentum, which serves victims of violence and abuse in the northern counties of Allegheny and Westmoreland, as well as the center and Greater Pittsburgh Women’s Shelter, domesticshelters.org and Southwestern Pennsylvania Domestic Violence Services.

“I love the social change segment that they incorporated into the art of the dance ensemble,” said Michelle Gibb, executive director of the HOPE Center.

In the video, each dancer is in a physically different space. They have been separated because of the pandemic. The dance ended virtually.

“To see them in different spaces, and the fact that they’re all isolated, until they’re all displayed on the split screen, is very powerful,” Gibb said. “Often the victims are isolated in their own homes, a place where most of us feel safe. “

Gibb noted the juxtaposition of backgrounds from an empty garage or basement to a furnished living room and in front of a beautiful arched window. This shows that domestic violence can affect people from all walks of life.

“For social change to work, society has to change,” Gibb said. “This group of young people has a better understanding of the root causes and foundations of domestic violence. If you aren’t aware of a problem, you can’t stop it from happening.

Gibbs said having the performances available on YouTube extends its reach.

The dancers are from first year to seniors. They are volunteers and devote six or more hours per week.

“I love that we are standing up for something that is such a big issue,” said Rachel Wells, a psychology student at Brentwood. “We need to talk about these issues. “

Wells, who started dancing at the age of 2, said Eperthener-Buffington made learning easier by breaking down steps.

“It was an experience that I will remember all my life,” Wells said. “As students, we are under the stress of exams and everyday college life. Being able to work with Diane on this dance really helped us all in our 40s. I don’t know what I would have done without it.

This question is even more important now because of the last year of quarantine, Wells said.

“What Diane does has always been relevant, but it is even more relevant today,” Wells said. “Society needs to talk about these issues. If our dance only helps one person, it will all be worth it.

Wells said there was definitely a learning curve in the beginning with virtual instruction.

Eperthener-Buffington credits the undergraduate research center with former research director Gregg Gould, who is an associate professor of mathematics and physical sciences, for providing a home for the dance ensemble. Dean of Librarianship Douglas Hoover, Secretary of Librarianship Barbara Engle and Associate Professor of Social Work Azadeh Block also played roles in the project.

She also said that Michael Slavin, who is retired and who was the former chair of the university’s drama and dance department, believed in the project. Eperthener-Buffington was inspired to begin these dances because of her son, Colton.

At 18 months, he was diagnosed with autism. She wanted to give a voice to children who are on the autism spectrum.

“We talk pretty deeply about topics like suicide awareness and the resources available on campus,” Eperthener-Buffington said. “We are talking about addiction. And the deeper we go, the more emotional we can become. But we also talk about the light at the end of the tunnel. Depression, drug addiction and domestic violence are all on the rise, and more children are witnessing domestic violence at home. “

JoAnne Klimovich Harrop is the editor of Tribune-Review. You can contact JoAnne at 724-853-5062, [email protected] or via Twitter .



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Dance group

Sarabande dance group promotes creativity and community, adapts to pandemic

Sarabande Dance Ensemble is a student dance collective founded in 1982 that mainly focuses on contemporary, jazz and ballet. The group differs from the nearly 20 other dance groups on campus with its diverse and modern stylistic range, and his commitment to original choreography. His performances and rehearsals are directed and staged by student choreographers who have the freedom to incorporate their individual styles into their pieces.

“We choreograph … and we have ten hours of rehearsal every week”, Helene chwe, a Senior in Sarabande, said of a pre-pandemic semester. “But in those ten hours, there are ten dances, and you can choose how many dances you want to do… so you can choose your engagement.”

Saraband offers many students their first opportunity to choreograph, either by leading open classes or by putting together a complete piece. Dancers can realize their own artistic visions, which was not always possible for students training in a dance studio, according to Chwe.

“Being able to do something that is student-run and super independent, [where] people do exactly what they want to do, it allowed me to relax ”, Chwe said to play with Sarabande. “It was still a show, but it was a lot more fun, because… your friend is choreographing something.”

Second year Hana Tzou says she enjoyed learning from her colleagues Saraband members in a collaborative exchange of movement and technique. Before registering with Tufts, Tzou has danced in the same studio since the age of three and has developed a solid foundation in ballet, tap, jazz and contemporary dance. She described her training as having been quite conservative. Through Saraband, Tzou said she was exposed to more experimental dance settings.

“It’s really fun to try a new style on the body and learn different shapes that you can do” Tzou said. “And it really broadened my dance practice. I think I feel a lot more comfortable dancing in a new style, or even just dancing in my own body because I’m in Sarabande… It really broadened my horizons on what dancing can actually be like .

The pandemic strikes

In March 2020, just a day after the university announced its decision to close the campus in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Saraband held his last performance on stage in person. Chwe described it as memorable and bittersweet.

“I think a lot of people loved how confusing it was because it took all the pressure off of a good performance,” Chwe said. “It was kind of like everyone had stopped caring about dancing and just rocked and dancing for friends… None of the dances were over, but everyone kind of gave their all. “

According to Chwe, tThe club’s booming seniors took advantage of the summer to deliberate on what Sarabande would look like in the 2020-2021 school year, given the restrictions imposed by the pandemic. The club has made its management structure more horizontal; it has gone from having two presidents and smaller sub-committees to an equitable sharing of responsibilities among the six senior members of the club. As co-chair of the interpersonal committee, Chwe is responsible for planning social events and mediating conflicts between members.

Building a community

Organizing social events requires caution when it comes to virus safety and finding community within the social scene in Tufts were especially tough for many early years. Chwe said Saraband managed to plan Breakout Hangouts Across the Class Years, or the dancers have a coffee or relax together.

For freshman Emma Olshin, bonding with the other early years has been one of her favorite times in Sarabande. Olshin described how the new members rented out and decorated a room at Barnum Hall as a surprise birthday party for another member.

“The people of Sarabande are not only my dance teammates, they are also my best friends.

Second year Hana Tzou

“We sent photos to the big [groupchat], and [the upperclassmen] were so happy that we all became friends… Even though we joined together under strange circumstances, we are all close and they know that Sarabande’s future is in our hands. said Olshin.

Tzou echoed a similar appreciation for the authentic community and family the atmosphere she found inside Saraband as soon as she joined.

“I [immediately had this] a whole network of students from the upper class, and even former students who just contacted me and who said to me: “Anything you need, come see us, we can help you” “ said Tzou.

Before the pandemic, dancers often spent time in a off-campus home that has been passed down through generations of Sarabande members and served as a safe space where members can go whenever they want.

“The people of Sarabande are not only my dance teammates, they are also my best friends. said Tzou.

Sarabande also held weekly conversations about the intersections of race and dance. Chwe said his group last semester discussed the oppression of black voices in dance, particularly regarding the implications of the story of exclusion from ballet.

Olshin added that she appreciates the value of such discussions.

“[It’s important] to educate us on the problems of discrimination in the dance world, because there are a lot of them – especially in ballet, which we have all done at some point in our training ”, said Olshin. “So I think it’s really cool that people are motivated to find out more, and I’ve definitely learned a lot from that so far. ”

Adapt to performance in the event of a pandemic

Typically, Saraband, which is made up of no more than 20 dancers, organizes recruitments and hearings at the start of each semester. Last fall, after conducting a series of virtual auditions, which required three separate video submissions, Sarabande welcomed into its group five first years and a second year among the more than 20 people who auditioned. Chwe noted that the group had not anticipated as much interest and that compared to previous years the addition of six new members was relatively large.

Since Sarabande can’t put on a full show in person this year, she has adapted by adopting video performances. Their last performance, “Fluorescent,” was a 34-minute compilation of 10 dances choreographed by different members of Sarabande. Each dance was performed with a different style and mood achieved through a variety of video editing techniques. Some dances were performed outdoors by masked and socially distant members, while others consisted of assembled segments of individually recorded videos. According to Tzou, the university imposed stricter rules while the group was filming for the performance, which resulted in variations between playing together and alone.

For Tzou, transforming his shared dormitory in a space conducive to dancing was a source of frustration.

“The only thing a dancer needs to dance is space” said Tzou. “To have that taken away, for me, it was really difficult.”

When possible, the group performs repetitions in Jackson Gym, reserved classrooms or outside, even when temperatures have dropped. Even then Tzou added that the lack of access to mirrors, as is customary in typical dance studios, presented another difficulty.

“I feel a lot more comfortable in my body and I have more confidence in myself when I can see myself in the mirror” said Tzou. After two semesters, Tzou said she had gotten used to dancing without a mirror, trusting her instincts and the choreographers’ comments to guide her.

According to Tzou, performing in pre-recorded videos gave the choreographers more freedom to experiment by engaging with a new medium, incorporating camera movements and cuts to transition between formations or add extra textural quality to the performance.

Even so, for the dancers, there is a lot to be missed about the stage performance experience.

“Everyone at Sarabande was in a way brought up for the stage” said Tzou. “I know the majority of people really miss the performing aspect, because there’s just something so exciting about being on stage, your friends are in the audience, they’re cheering you on. This adrenaline rush is so good.

All members of Sarabande have the chance to choreograph. Even new members, like Olshin, had the opportunity to choreograph and teach open classes. Olshin said she especially liked that the open classes gave her the opportunity to share smaller combinations of choreography without needing to create an entire three-minute routine.

“I taught more technique… doing things on the floor or a workout or stretching, or I could do a little combo – I can really do whatever I want,” said Olshin. “People are ready for anything. People can come, they can’t come, it’s very relaxed this semester.

The laid back spirit of Saraband continues to maintain itself as creative and collaborative dance collective who supports his dancers, many of which come from competitive dance circles. Tzou and Olshin entered university with the intention of continuing to dance; everyone researched all the active dance groups at Tufts and felt drawn to Saraband. Chwe, on the other hand, had initially considered taking a step back from dancing, who had consumed a large part of his late childhood, but she eventually felt compelled to join Sarabande after attending an open class in her first year.

“I think they do a really good job of drawing on everyone’s skills, never forcing people to do what they’re not comfortable with in dancing, but also really highlighting what people are really good at. ” said Tzou. “It’s super collaborative. It’s just really wonderful.


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Dance group

101Doll Squadron ‘Twerking’ Dance Group Criticizes ABC’s ‘Misleading’ Cut

The dance troupe that twerked in front of a brand new warship to celebrate its unveiling criticized the ABC for making it “misleading”.

Dancers from 101Doll Squadron say they feel “threatened, exploited and endangered” amid widespread criticism over decision to use their racy routine as part of ceremony used to launch $ 2 billion HMAS Supply in Sydney on Saturday.

The band members performed ahead of the arrival of Governor General David Hurley and Defense Forces Chief Angus Campbell – but the CBA edited the footage to make it look like these dignitaries were watching their racy routine.

“We found this very scary and are giving more thought to the ABC camera operator and their need to sexualize these women and their dance piece for their own satisfaction,” the group said in a statement.

The troop – which is made up of indigenous and multiracial members – said they had no intention of disrespecting and insisted the images were taken out of context.

Daily Mail Australia has contacted the ABC for comment.

Governor General David Hurley (pictured wearing glasses) was seated at the front and center of the ceremony – but attended after the dance performance

Previously, former soldier turned politician Jacqui Lambie called the decision to use the suggestive dance “absolute shock”.

“I thought I was watching the Super Bowl over there for a split second, I’m going to be honest with you,” she told Nine’s Today.

“Whoever made this call, it’s an absolute shock for God’s sake.”

Senator Lambie added: “It’s good that these young women came out, but I’m telling you, being half-dressed on the outside of a warship is probably inappropriate.

“If this is the leadership of our defense forces, may God help our sons and daughters who serve. “

Another former soldier-turned-politician, LNP member for Herbert Philip Thompson, said the military’s attempts to be more contemporary and inclusive were ill-conceived.

“ADF standards, and certainly when commissioning a ship, should be a little higher than that,” he told the ABC earlier this week.

“Our ADF should not be on the left or on the right; they should be at the heart of their work, and their job is to defend our nation, our interests, our values, our sovereignty, but also when we go on operations, have aggression and violence without excuse to carry out the mission. ‘

He added: “We have woken up a bit in the last few years and we cannot afford to do this.”

Videos from the event show seven women performing a choreography as they were dressed in black shorts, crop tops and red berets.

HMAS Supply's new navy vessel launched by 101Doll Squadron (pictured) at Woolloomooloo in Sydney

HMAS Supply’s new Navy ship was launched by a group of scantily clad women twerk (pictured) at Woolloomooloo in Sydney

The HMAS supply ship company stands on the upper decks at the end of its commissioning ceremony (pictured on Saturday)

The HMAS supply ship company stands on the upper decks at the end of its commissioning ceremony (pictured on Saturday)

The launch was attended by officials including the Governor General and the Chief of the Navy

The launch was attended by officials including the Governor General and the Chief of the Navy

Some social media commentators agreed the dance move was too suggestive for an official government event.

“It doesn’t matter who the girls are, it’s not appropriate,” one person said.

“At a time when we are promoting the right of women not to be objectified, there are other dance moves that would be fun and just as energetic.”

Other commentators found the incident “bizarre”.

“I definitely wouldn’t believe you if the HMAS Supply banner wasn’t visible in the background. It’s … too strange, said one of them.

“It’s an interpretive dance, telling how the Navy doesn’t have the budget to organize proper entertainment for this ship launch after spending all its money on submarines,” another joked.

The defense said the dance was organized in order to

The defense said the dance was organized in order to “engage with the local community”

Governor General David Hurley (pictured) arrives at the ceremony for the new $ 2 billion boat on Saturday

Governor General David Hurley (pictured) arrives at the ceremony for the new $ 2 billion boat on Saturday

A defense spokesperson told Daily Mail Australia the dance was organized to engage with the local community and precedes the formal part of the ceremony.

“HMAS Supply and the Royal Australian Navy are committed to working with Australians from all walks of life to actively support local charities and community groups,” they said.

“The dance was performed prior to the commencement of commissioning formalities and prior to the arrival of His Excellency the Governor General, Chief of the Navy and Commander of the Australian Fleet.”

The key role of HMAS Supply is to provide support to naval combat units. The ship will now undergo testing.

What will the HMAS supply be used for?

HMAS Supply is the lead ship of two Supply Supply Vessels being built for the Royal Australian Navy by Spanish shipbuilder Navantia.

Australian Supply Class ships are based on the Cantabria Class design of the Spanish Navy.

The ships are intended to carry fuel, dry cargo, water, food, ammunition, equipment and spare parts to provide operational support to deployed naval or combat forces operating away from port in high seas for longer periods.

In addition to refueling, ships can be used to combat environmental pollution at sea, provide logistical support to the armed forces, and support humanitarian and disaster relief operations.

Source: Australian Navy


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Dance crew

What a scream from Missy Elliot means to the subway dance team

Sunday, Missy Elliot, multiple winner of Grammy, AMA, VMA and BET tweeted a video to its 6.9 million followers of a New York dance group playing Missy’s 2005 hit “Lose Control” in a moving subway car.

“Missy Elliot is one of our greatest idols of all time,” said Ty Live, a member of that group.

Ty Live, Sean McFly, Arnstar, Astro, Joel kozik, Moe Black, and Sonic joined FOX 5 NY via Zoom on Wednesday to talk about how they first met while fighting at dance events 15 years ago.

“We were all competitors before we were real friends,” Ty Live said.

The competitors finally decided to form a group and call it WAFFLE

“[One of us] was listening to a Sister Sledge song, ‘We Are Family’, “said Joel Kozik.” I have all my brothers and me. “

“We Are Family” gave these friends “WAF”, to which they added For Life Entertainment to create the acronym WAFFLE

“Everyone loves waffles,” said Joel Kozik.

The newly formed WAFFLE dance team started performing in the subway for guidance, then posted videos of their train car performances on social media and began to get noticed by people other than the tired commuters.

“By like Ellen degeneres, America has talent“said Joël Kozik.

The appearances on these two shows produced even more opportunities in music, television, film, sports and merchandising, which WAFFLE seized and hopes to develop.

“We have producers,” Astro said. “We have actors. We have musicians. And we will spread our culture.”

“And they’re light feet,” Arnstar said. “Light feet is a dance style that comes from Harlem as the little brother of the Harlem Shake.”

While WAFFLE supports the largest lightweight footer community – now in over 30 countries – it does not host trials or accept nominations for its 12-man squad.

“We’re a whole bunch of brothers,” Astro said. “You just can’t get discouraged with WAFFLE. It’s something that happens naturally.”

Kind of like Missy Elliot posting their video and tagging all 12 of them in a tweet seen by millions of people. WAFFLE would love to turn this into an appearance in a Missy Elliot video, but doesn’t anticipate any level of fame preventing them from performing on the subway.

“It’s because it’s home, it’s what made us who we are today,” Ty Live said. “This is where we found our style, our guts, our grind, our hearts and our heads, and most importantly, this is where we found ourselves.”



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Dance ensemble

The Zikr dance ensemble returns with Lifting the Veil

The Zikr Dance Ensemble is once again on guard.

Littleton’s Transcendent Dance Company, which explores spirituality by fusing ancient and contemporary dance practices from around the world, kicked off its 2021 season with Uncover, which debuted with a preview on April 7. The show will officially premiere on April 10 at Littleton’s Dance Ballet Theater Academy and will be broadcast live from Boulder’s Dairy Arts Center on April 12 and the Lakewood Cultural Center on April 17-18.

Going through 2020 was not easy for the troops.

“Like so many other nonprofit performing arts organizations, Zikr had to cancel last year’s season due to the pandemic,” said founder and artistic director David Taylor. But with help from the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District, funded by the $ 10 tax that supports nonprofit cultural organizations in the metro area, Zikr has managed to stay afloat.

Since COVID-19 vaccines rolled out and the state eased restrictions, says Taylor, launching Uncover was obvious.

“Motivation has never been an issue with the business,” says Taylor. “We decided last fall that, whatever happens, we will move forward with our plans for the 2021 season.”

The dancers rehearsed for Uncover for about five weeks and had to follow COVID-19 protocols, including getting tested twice a week and wearing masks all day. The company sanitized the ballet bars on a daily basis and did not allow dancers to leave the studio until their rehearsals were over.

Like all of Zikr’s work, Uncover is rooted in global mythologies and spiritual practices. All of the dances in the program focus on the hidden forces that direct and assist humanity. “These are the spiritual forces,” says Taylor. “The great masters and other spiritual initiates who work behind the scenes to help humanity in its spiritual development. There are many places in existence, the physical being one. Our incarnation in the physical plane is a choice of the soul, in order to learn certain lessons and to grow and progress in consciousness.

“There are spiritual entities who are always with us,” he adds. “On a larger and more cosmic scale, masters and initiates help direct and oversee the initiation stages of our own planet in accordance with God’s will.

Click to enlarge Zikr Dance Ensemble dancers in action.  - PIERRE STRAND

Zikr Dance Ensemble dancers in action.

Pierre Strand

One performance, “Walking Prayer,” includes short, complex arm movements and training changes developed by spiritual teacher and philosopher GI Gurdjieff. “Parallel & Elevated,” on the other hand, deals with two beings who maintain a close connection through time – one on the physical plane, the other on the spiritual plane. Other performances include “Oracle”, “Time’s Up”, Guides “,” Runes “and” Lifting the Veil “.

“Travis [Powell] will develop a digital animated visual effects series that will complement and be interspersed with slide shows that have been carefully selected for the new work, ”said Taylor. “Jeff Rusnak has created incredible headdresses for Uncover, as well as what can only be described as rotating and tilting slabs, on which five dancers stand at the beginning and end of a work called “Oracle”.

Whether the audience sees the show virtually or in person, Taylor hopes he will imbibe the many forms of spiritual oneness found in humanity.

Taylor wants people to revel in this: “the beauty, wonder and awe of beautiful dancers, music, images and lights as well as the recognition of the spiritual unity of humanity through expressions dance in many forms “.

For tickets and more information on Zikr Dance Ensemble, visit the company’s website.


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Dance crew

Yuva Dance Crew To Comedy And Drama At Tomorrow’s Show Navtarang Sargam Rang Barse Stage Show

Yuva Dance Crew To Comedy And Drama At Tomorrow’s Show Navtarang Sargam Rang Barse Stage Show

Yuva Dance Crew with Satya Nand, CFL Senior Director of Content.

You can expect many exciting and unique performances from the Yuva Dance Crew when they take the stage at Radio Navtarang and Sargam Rang Barse Stage Show at Rups Mega Complex in Nakasi tomorrow.

Group co-frontman Kunal Verma said that in addition to dance performances, they will also perform plays to show what Holi is and why it is celebrated.

He says Holi is also about having fun with loved ones, so they’ll be putting on comedy shows tomorrow as well.

Verma adds that they have been preparing for over a week and also train at night for performances.

You can also meet your favorite radio personalities tomorrow.

There will also be many performances by folk singers who will sing comedic songs.

Judging of the Navtarang Sargam Rang Birangi Mithaiyan competition will also take place this Sunday.

The main sponsors of the show are Apco Paints and Digicel Fiji.

The Radio Navtarang Sargam Rang Barse Holi Show will be held tomorrow from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.


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Dance ensemble

The Zikr Dance Ensemble returns to the stage – The Know

The 15 dancers of the Zikr Dance Ensemble resumed rehearsals in mid-March. (Peter Strand, provided by Zikr Dance Ensemble)

In mid-2020, with the coronavirus raging, David Taylor made a decision. He was going to go ahead with the creation of his new dance, “Lifting the Veil” and somehow his company was going to put it on stage once this process was completed.

It was a serious commitment, given that Colorado’s show business was completely shut down at the time, and no one knew how long it would last. Or when the premises are ready to open. Or when the dancers could come together to rehearse. Or when the public would be comfortable venturing out of their homes to see live art.

If you are going to

“Lifting the Veil” will be presented in various formats, at various prices, from April 7 to 18. Check with each site for details and requirements for safety precautions. Tickets and info on zikrdance.com.

The schedule:

  • Wednesday April 7: Southridge Recreation Center, 4800 McArthur Ranch Road, Highlands Ranch
  • Saturday April 10: Denver Ballet Theater Academy, 8000 South Lincoln St., Littleton
  • Monday April 12: Dairy Arts Center, 2590 Walnut St., Boulder
  • Saturday and Sunday April 17-18: Lakewood Cultural Center, 470 S. Allison Parkway, Lakewood

But Taylor’s decision put his business in a good position. The theaters are returning (so slowly and in limited capacity) and the dancers have returned to their studios (so carefully and with strict safety protocols), and her Zikr dance ensemble is ready to move. This week, they are expected to become one of the first Front Range performing arts groups to return to business.

‘Lifting the Veil’ will have a four-part evolutionary premiere at a number of local venues, slated to begin with an hour-long premiere on April 7 at Southridge Recreation Center in Highlands Ranch, and end with a production on 17 and April 18 at the Lakewood Cultural Center.

At least that’s the plan. In an interview last week, Taylor admitted anything can happen between now and the final performance. He is moving forward, he said, with the same determination that drove him to finish the play “whether or not we have a theater to present it or an audience to experience it live.”

In addition, he has become accustomed to the setbacks and adjustments that have come to define the task of performing in the spring of 2021.

These include working with the sites as they do their own calculations on the wisdom of letting people in. In total, “Lifting the Veil” will be presented in various editions in four theaters, including the Dairy Arts Center in Boulder and the Denver Ballet Theater Academy in Littleton.

Zikrs Artistic Director David Taylor has been dancing or choreographing in Colorado for 50 years. (Provided by Zikr Dance Ensemble)

Granted, it would have been easier to stage the program in one location, but Zikr has no choice but to spread his wares. Like most small nonprofit arts associations in this region, it funds its operations through a combination of revenue from tickets, private donations, and government grants, including money from the seven county tax system known as the district name of scientific and cultural facilities.

Because SCFD distributes so much of its money county by county, Zikr must make an appearance in every county that contributes to his annual grant. So, for example, by performing at the Southridge Recreation Center, he fulfills his obligation to Douglas County.

Each location has its own set of evolving requirements that impact the staging. For example, Taylor said, due to social distancing needs, the Lakewood Cultural Center will only sell about 100 tickets for its 300-seat theater.

Production therefore had to be modified to operate at each location. It will be smaller at first and expand to include its full set of sets, sounds and lighting in Lakewood.

The 15 dancers of the company, all part-time and paid, had to remain agile and open-minded in the face of their own challenges. They resumed rehearsals in mid-March with an unprecedented set of rules in place. They are regularly tested for the virus and must wear masks during rehearsals, which is no small obstacle given their physically demanding occupation. Extra care was taken to clean the studio and wipe down the walls, floors and bars.

If a dancer or team member tests positive for the virus, the whole effort could be jeopardized, Taylor said. So far no one has.

Zikr Dance had one thing in its favor besides tenacity: it is well funded at the moment.

SCFD rules require grant recipients to perform each year in exchange for their money. But he made an exception in 2020, allowing organizations to keep the money for that year even though the places were dark. This help was important to keep operations afloat as they were experiencing financial hardship induced by the pandemic, although for some organizations it also means strong budgets to cover expenses in 2021.

As a small business, Zikr receives modest grants. For example, her 2020 grant from Jefferson County was $ 4,670 and she received $ 4,200 from Arapahoe County. Taylor said combining these funds with the 2021 grant cycle was crucial in shaping ‘Lifting the Veil’. Zikr is known to do a lot with limited resources; his shows have high production values ​​and his troupe is talented.

“Lifting the Veil” continues its mission of exploring the “ritualistic and transcendent aspects of dance,” as Taylor describes the work. Reflecting Taylor’s background, the company’s style combines a number of influences, including modern movement and ballet. Taylor is best known in Colorado for the 27 years he spent directing the David Taylor Dance Theater, which he founded in 1979 and integrated into the state’s first contemporary ballet company before leaving, eventually leaving. form Zikr in 2009.

David Taylor formed the Zikr Dance Ensemble in 2009. (Provided by the Zikr Dance Ensemble)

There is a spiritual side to all of the company’s work, from marches and costumes to music, which brings together aspects of the sacred movement from around the world – Christian, Buddhist, Muslim and more, mostly unknown to those in apart from those beliefs, Taylor said. He cites the movement of whirling dervishes and traditional Balinese dancers among the inspirations of “Lifting the Veil”.

These classically shaped movements are enhanced by current technology. This show uses film screenings and digital graphic effects created by Travis Powell of design firm Deep Space Drive-In, and sets designed by respected visual artist George Peters.

The technology will also allow the room to come alive after the April live events. Taylor plans to send video recordings across the state to places like Alamosa, Grand Junction and Taos where, in a normal year, the company would travel in person during its touring season.

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