Bay area artists are finding ways to create during the pandemic … and people are responding.
When 20 socially-distanced dancers performed the morning of June 13 along a three-block stretch of 1st Avenue South, people on bicycles rolled respectfully by, watching from the southern bike lane. Pedestrians strolled along the opposite sidewalk and nodded their approval.
The public performance of the silent, rippling Reverberation, which looped and repeated, was the first installment of a series called “Dance in the Time of Coronavirus,” from choreographers Andee Scott and Amanda Sieradzki.
A week later, Reverberation was repeated on the sidewalk in front of Tropicana Field, this time at dusk. And the creators discovered that their project’s reputation had preceded it.
“We definitely noticed an increase in traffic, especially with it being closer to the downtown area,” says Sieradzki, who – unlike the first installment – danced in this one herself. “We had a constant stream of cars going by in the far right lane, a lot of honking, and a few who even had signs that they hung out the windows, for the dancers, as they went by.
“We also had a good amount of residents in the apartments across the way, on 16th, who were out on their balconies.”
The effect of Reverberation, which involved the passing of movement from one dancer to the next (each more than six feet distant), was stunning.
“There’s something about being out there at twilight, the changing of day into night,” Sieradzki explains. “And the way that Andee choreographed it there was something not quite meditative, but something about the adagio quality of the movement that you were able to really get lost inside of it. She talked a lot in rehearsal about energy just kind of radiating from your skin. And I definitely felt I was a part of that energy while I was moving in that line.”
“Dance in the Time of Coronavirus,” which continues July 11 with performances planned through the remainder of the summer, is the choreographers’ way of offering artistic salve to the community in these troubled times.
“I wholeheartedly agree with Andee when she says that dance can save the world,” Sieradzki offers. “And that it has the capacity to really peel back this façade – underneath it all, we all move, we’re all human, and we all have this capacity for compassion and empathy – and sometimes I think that just needs to be shown. And what better way to show that than to have these large site works, where people can tap into that driving thing that maybe you don’t even have a name for.”
Sieradzki has choreographed the next piece for “Dance in the Time of Coronavirus,” a “moving installation” titled Volution. It will be performed from 11 a.m. to noon Saturday, July 11 along Davis Islands’ Seaplane Basin Park & Bike Path.
July 25: Episode 4: (re)Volution, choreographed by Amanda Sieradzki (Tampa)
August 8: Episode 5: Constellation, choreographed by Andee Scott (St. Petersburg and beyond)
August 22: Episode 6: Dance on Film Drive-In, curated by Amanda Sieradzki (Tampa)
August 29: Episode 7: In Flight, choreographed by Andee Scott (St. Petersburg)