Committed to excellence in virtual dance instruction.
Department of Theatre & Dance
MEDIA DANCE WORKS
The 'Virtual' Student Choreographers' Concert presented by
SUNY Potsdam and the Department of Theatre and Dance
Since the onset of the pandemic, SUNY Potsdam students have been successfully adapting dance to a virtual setting under the guidance of Dance Professor Cynthia DuFault and Technical Director Tom Grabowski. Student choreographers have presented a collage of short dance films in the virtual performance entitled, Media Dance Works Series, which has been web-hosted at cyndance.org each First Friday of the month at 7:30pm (EST) since October 2020.
This semester, for the first time, Crane student composers have been added to the mix, and these young artists are all applying their craft to form the upcoming Series. This builds on last semester’s work, when student choreographers joined forces with media arts majors, working collaboratively to merge their efforts toward projects.
As choreographers have prepared for this Friday’s event, they have been rehearsing, filming, and editing their work on a tight schedule and within the guidelines of COVID protocol. When asked, “What is your intention for your work?” Student choreographer Nasir Chassé said, “This is a love letter to all women of nationality, race, ethnicity, and cultural backgrounds. Throughout the work, certain movements were created to symbolize a call and response among the dancers. Some portray hardship and are calling out for help. Others provide help, but it all becomes a bit too much at times.”
In asking choreographer Shamara Bey about her work, she said, “I’m excited to show this fun and sassy work. My choreography consists of a jazz and hip-hop movement vocabulary. My goal was to echo my movement ideas, while allowing the dancers to express their own character through the movement.”
Choreographers Aicha Konate and Brianna Polite are no beginners to media dance as this will be their fourth work. Aicha describes her work as “my love piece.” The work is about a relationship from the outlook of my life’s philosophy, which is that I refuse to let anything stop me through the battles of everyday living. I find the internal strength, energy, and empowerment. I do it through love.”
Brianna says that her work was inspired by the movie Malcolm and Marie, directed and written by Sam Levinson. The character Malcolm, a filmmaker (played by John David Washington) and his girlfriend Marie (played by Zendaya) return home from a movie premiere and await his film’s critical response, the evening takes a turn as revelations about their relationship surface, testing the couple’s love. Polites explains, “My work is about how a couple can become toxic when their strong characters fall in the way of their inseparable love. My dancers share the same house in real life, so they are not only comfortable dancing with each other, they are safely able to partner together.”
Faculty Mentor Cynthia DuFault has been an advocate for media dance and virtual dance instruction. She was a presenter at the REMOTE: Connected Faculty Summit hosted by Arizona State University and attended by 50,000 faculty and administrators last year. Cynthia believes, “the role that the discourse of dance in media plays in the public sphere's knowledge can bring college dance into a new light, especially student works. Additionally, media dance takes us toward a new definition of arts in the age of technology.”
To view the Spring 2021 Media Dance Works Series, visit cyndance.org each First Friday this spring at 7:30pm (EST) – a free event. Feel free to contact Cynthia DuFault at firstname.lastname@example.org for further questions on this event.
Media Dance Works Series
— The 'Virtual' Student Choreographers' Concert at SUNY Potsdam, Department of Theatre and Dance.
Led by professor Cynthia DuFault, SUNY Potsdam students are successfully transposing dance online in the age of COVID. These student choreographers have presented
three short films this semester in a virtual dance concert setting entitled, Media Dance Works Series. Each First Friday of the month at 7:30pm (EST) since October, this event has been web-hosted here at cyndance.org and on display at SUNY Potsdam’s site and Facebook.