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SUNY Brockport dancers going from stage to screen

Messenger Post Media
Monroe County Post

The College at Brockport’s Department of Dance will stream “Virtual DANCE/Hartwell” starting at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 21 on an on-demand basis through Dec. 26.

Patrons must register for the free event at to receive the link. Donations will be accepted at the ticketing site. Call 585-395-2787 for information.

Assistant professor Stevie Oakes and costumer Emma Scholl share artistic director responsibilities for the concert. They opted for a slight shift in the concert’s standard procedure to address issues of exclusion and access. They said all dance majors were invited to participate in the virtual concert this year, “perhaps better representing the Department of Dance's vision that each creative voice is vital.” 

Oakes went on to say that throughout this tumultuous year, she observed a “resilience of spirit [that] has brought many artists back to the drawing board to innovate their creative processes … Dance is no exception, and the dance majors at SUNY Brockport have delved deeply to reimagine their choreographic craft for the screen.”

The nine choreographers whose works comprise the concert “not only worked within parameters of safe physical distancing measures, but also creatively sought to utilize a new set of choreographic tools,” Oakes said. Occasionally, “some editing techniques which are not possible in live performance [were utilized] — overlapping dancers, setting dancers in multiple locations at once or changing the viewer's perspective mid-dance to arrive at a different angle.”

In the concert, graduate student Natalia Lisina explores intertwining narrative and folklore around the White Lady's Castle with site-specific footage and complex editing. Senior BFA candidate Victoria Congdon says to “Suck it Up, Buttercup” in a moment where the pandemic and her footage literally turn the world upside down. 

Other choreographers bring viewers to streetlights and rainy evenings, an intimate look inside a bedroom and an internal landscape, or a scenic pastoral view.

“Virtual DANCE/Hartwell,” presented by the College at Brockport Department of Dance, will stream Nov. 21-Dec. 26.