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UofSC Dance Returns to In-Person Performances at Drayton Hall Theatre in February

Live performances will take place February 10-13.

UofSC Dance Returns to In-Person Performances at Drayton Hall Theatre in February

The University of SC Department of Theatre and Dance will make a long-awaited return to live performance February 10-13 as the UofSC Dance Company presents its annual spring concert.

Show times are 7:30pm, February 10-12 and 2pm, February 13. In accordance with University policy, seating will be limited to allow for appropriate social distancing. Tickets will be available only for the purchase of a single seat or a pair of seats, with single seats priced at $15 for students, $20 for UofSC Faculty/Staff, Military and Seniors and $22 for the general public, and ticket pairs priced $30-$44. Tickets may only be purchased online by visiting dance.sc.edu and clicking the "Buy Now" link. Tickets will not be sold in-person or at the door. Drayton Hall Theatre is located at 1214 College St, across from the historic UofSC Horseshoe.

Featuring three brand-new contemporary works by dance faculty Erin Bailey, Jennifer Deckert and André Megerdichian, the concert will mark the dance program's first on-stage performances since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Concerts during the fall semester were filmed and streamed online.

To help ensure a healthy environment for all gathering in the theatre, a number of safety measures are being implemented by the department. In addition to socially distanced seating, facial coverings will be required of all audience members, performers and theatre staff. To help ensure distancing, patrons will be seated upon entering the building and asked to leave immediately after the performance. Patrons are asked to monitor their own health and not attend if they have been previously diagnosed with COVID-19 within 14 days, have been in contact with anyone diagnosed with the virus or are exhibiting any symptoms of illness. The theatre will be cleaned before each performance.

Precautions have also been in place during rehearsal, with dancers required to report their temperature and health conditions daily and wear face coverings. Additionally, the choreographers have incorporated social distancing into their works. Dancers are only allowed to be in close contact if they share a living space.

About the Works

Pandemic-related limitations have directly inspired the creation of Jennifer Deckert's A Season of Echoes. Set to the music of Vivaldi's Four Seasons, the contemporary ballet explores how the solitude of social distancing has, for many, provided a chance for personal reflection.

"I think this forced stillness that we've all been put into allows us to reflect on past experiences and emotional baggage that we may not have had the time, energy or space to acknowledge in our lives," says associate professor Deckert. "It's very much a reflection of managing this pandemic, managing the social unrest and managing how we're reflecting on ways of being and interacting."

The impact of the pandemic has similarly informed Megerdichian, an assistant professor in the dance program. However, his work, Meetings Along the Edge, intends to give audiences a more visceral experience.

"We've all been sort of cooped up in these times and that has put us in this state of external stillness," says Megerdichian. "But, internally the wheels are spinning at 90 miles an hour. I thought what we need is a release of that internal spinning, projected physically."

Contrasting emotions also fuel dance instructor Erin Bailey's under. Inspired by a trip to a Berlin museum, the piece brings to light conflicting feelings of contrition and redemption.

"I felt... an overwhelming sense of shame," Bailey says of her powerful experience with history. "At the same time, I felt very much alive and pure. This experience of simultaneously feeling heavy and light, unclean and clean, inspired me to explore the complexities of these relationships through movement."

One feeling shared by all of the artists in this concert, choreographers and dancers alike, is a sense of excitement at finally being able to get back on stage.

"This is what we live for," says Deckert. "We're craving interaction with each other and that creative energy. There are a lot of artists who aren't able to have that right now and I'm just grateful that we're in a place where we can."

"Our hearts feel a little calmer than they had," she adds, "knowing that we get to be on stage in front of an audience and living the life that we were born to live."


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