Dance students and faculty at the University of Nevada, Reno have reimagined the annual Fall Dance Festival, activating public space through site-specific chorography and performance. With a commitment to keep dancing, while upholding the safest health guidelines, the Department of Theater and Dance produced a one-of-a-kind festival that has transformed the University’s open spaces while challenging student choreographers to integrate dance, place and geography into compelling, original works.
The Fall Dance Festival features eight diverse choreographic works created by faculty and select student choreographers. Each dance responds directly to a chosen location in or around the University’s “Mother Quad,” a large open green space at the center of campus.
“By its nature, site-specific work requires us to see dance in a new way and to reevaluate our theatrical ‘frames’ and then by coupling this with a virtual performance we hope to engage a wider audience and bring dance, and our beautiful campus, into homes around the country,” Cari Cunningham, associate professor of dance, said.
From dancing on a fire escape to choreography set in a grove of evergreens, these dances have been created on-site and witnessed by an audience of passersby in the true spirit of site-specific choreography. The final creations have been captured on video for this unique virtual event.
“In the creation of this Fall Dance Festival, we have been employing the motto of ‘every day we can dance is a good day,’” Cunningham said. “After taking it one day at a time for so long, I think I speak for all of the choreographers when I say we are incredibly excited to share our choreographic work with a wider audience, created specifically for sites in and around the University Quadrangle.”
Choreographers include faculty members Cari Cunningham and Nate Hodges and students Sarah Johnson, Abby Rosen, Laura Ryerson, Rebecca Vance, Hanna Walkinshaw and Sarah Ziolkowski.
The Fall Dance Festival premieres at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Nov. 20, and is available on-demand through midnight, Sunday, Nov. 22. This event is free and open to the public. After registering, guests will receive an email confirmation with instructions for how to view the performance.
The Fall Dance Festival was funded in part by the Associated Students of the University of Nevada and the Graduate Student Association.
The Fall Dance Festival is presented by the Department of the Theatre and Dance in the School of the Arts. The Department of Theatre and Dance is a collaborative community of artists and scholars – faculty, staff and students, aiming to achieve the highest level of excellence in their teaching, learning, research, creative endeavors and outreach to the community and state. Students explore all aspects of the performing arts through classes, studios and hands-on experiences onstage and behind the scenes. Rooted in the liberal arts traditions, the program prepares students with the skills necessary to pursue a variety of careers in the performing arts and beyond.
The School of the Arts includes 15 undergraduate and graduate degree programs across the disciplines of Visual Art, Music, Theatre and Dance. Annually, School of the Arts presents inspiring, thought-provoking, world-class visual art exhibitions, musical performances, theatre productions, and dance concerts. The School’s degree programs provide a strong foundation in a range of artistic disciplines, enabling students to contribute as artists, educators and scholars at the local level and beyond. Finally, the School, as well as the College of Liberal Arts, encourage broad campus and community participation in the arts through its numerous performances, lectures, exhibitions, core courses and outreach activities that explore diverse cultures and encourage lifelong learning.
For more information about the School of the Arts, call 775-784-4278, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Event information, news and photos also are available by following the School of the Arts’ Instagram, School of the Arts' Twitter and School of the Arts Facebook pages.