Saturday, September 18, 2021
This is an event that showcased in 2020
Ballet Co.Laboratory introduced its third annual fundraising performance, Drive-In Forward, on Saturday, October 24th, 2020 in St Paul with a virtual silent auction, socially distance games and raffles. The company returned to stage after an unplanned seven-month hiatus.
Throughout this pandemic, we have missed many things, but performing for you is highest on our list, managing director Rachel Koep posted in the program notes.
In the parking lot, transformed into a 1950s drive-in style event, dancers prepared for a fall day in Minnesota with leg warmers and slippers to cover their toe shoes. Many dressed in sweaters and poodle skirts, their hair in high ponies. The dancers often ran back and forth between the stage and a warm trailer.
As instructed by the attendant, I parked my car at an angle along with three dozen others in a circle around the stage. Then, another attendee distributed popcorn and refreshments. I tuned my radio station to hear the show’s music. My favorite number was 'Everything' by Buddy Holly. Dancers did the twist and the mashed potato while wearing white gloves; doing spins and two steps.
Company dancers included Jayson Douglas, Sage Engle-Laird, Zoé Henrot, Brittany Pate, Rosa Prigan, Anna Roehr, Rachel Seeholzer. There were also apprentice dancers, many of whom joined for the 2020/21 season from around the country.
“I’m excited, this is the first time I’ve performed since January,” said company dancer, Rachel Seeholzer.
Like the movie Cars, vehicles seemed to have more personality than ever as patrons tooted their horns and flashed their lights in applause fashion. I found myself doing the mashed potato and opening my window to engage even further.
Each of the dances incorporated an element inspired by the artists’ own experiences. In music number, The Great Pretender by The Platters, Jayson Douglas and Rachel Seeholzer, dancers of colors, were seated back to back in a show of civil unrest. 'The Great Pretender' considers the powerful effect of seeing one’s own struggles in someone else and the comfort provided in embracing shared identity when one feels defeated, this shared in the program notes.
In the finale, 'Let's Twist Again', dancers off stage two stepped until they too joined the company on stage, each taking a chance to bow and bid farewell. Until when? You might ask. Ballet Co.Laboratory’s virtual production of Snow Queen will be airing on December 19th and 20th and LABORATORY II will be airing March 20th, Tickets at https://www.balletcolaboratory.org/
Sunday, September 12, 2021
LOOKING FORWARD TO SEPTEMBER
Sunday, September 5, 2021
LOOKINg Forward to September
Wednesday, September 1, 2021
Who says we can’t Reboot together?
More than a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, it's clear some shows will still be going virtual, as Minnesota is operating at seventy percent. Walking Shadow theatre has created an interactive hybrid play, combined with an escape room. It's a chance for a small audience to solve collaborative puzzles and unlock ethical conundrums.