KSU Department of Dance to present “Threshold”

The first dance-for-camera event at KSU, "Threshold," will run Nov. 12-15. 

Dance-for-Camera event rethinks how to present dance

KENNESAW, Ga. (Oct 20, 2020) — Kennesaw State University’s Department of Dance will present “Threshold” Nov. 12-15, via ArtsKSU Virtual. The performances are free of charge and only a simple reservation is required to watch. “Threshold” celebrates the diverse artistic voices of the KSU Dance community through original works performed by the award-winning KSU Dance Company, in the first dance-for-camera event for Kennesaw State. 

The restraints of attempting to host an audience during a pandemic led faculty to seek creative options. Artistic director and assistant professor Lisa K. Lock said, “We came to the solution that we could create a performance specifically for the camera…by adapting to the situation, by rethinking about how to present the media of dance in a live performance.” 

Department of Dance chair Marsha Barsky added, “Doing a dance-for-camera event actually allowed us to escape restraints, both for the audience and the dancers. The very nature of contemporary dance is that it’s an evolving method, the heart of our work on contemporary performance. The choreographers are looking at new frameworks and artistic strategy at this unique moment and evolving their perspectives and practices.”

Each work combines cutting-edge technology with original choreography, created by distinguished faculty members Andrea Knowlton, Sean Nguyen-Hilton, McCree O’Kelley, and guest artist Thang Dao.

“Pop Rocks” directed and choreographed by Knowlton, bursts with brightness, color, and nostalgic textures that will transport the audience back to an earlier time in their life when friendship and enjoyment mattered most. Knowlton said, “The performers were highly involved in the creative process. With all that is going on in the world, I wanted to provide a safe place for my student performers to experience the joy of movement and self-expression as they embody the effervescence of youth.”

Nguyen-Hilton approaches his work “i have to remember it won’t always be this way” through the lens of contemporary folk dance. To capture the essence of isolation and reunion, Nguyen-Hilton’s work is presented in the exterior landscape of a meadow and the interior stage at the KSU Dance Theater.

O’Kelly’s piece, “And We Will Dance” celebrates dance and the beauty of ballet. Through a series of solos, each dancer expresses the longing to return to the stage and the joy and thrill of performing.

Escapism is the driving theme of Dao’s piece “run(A)way” as it allows the mind and body to find places that allow freedom and space for self. He said, “We are living in a surreal reality and I wanted to give myself and the dancers a space to address their inner struggles and the liberation through first, making, and then, embodying.”

Barsky said, “The KSU choreographers have risen to this occasion; each choreographer is creating work that honors dance and celebrates dance as an art form. Also, this unique time transforms audience/dancer relationships, but the work also becomes more accessible to audiences beyond the metropolitan area, beyond the state’s borders, to the world. It becomes boundless.”  

Another unique aspect about the event will be conversations with the choreographers to allow a closer look into the thought processes behind the works. “Dance can be very abstract, so it’s helpful to hear the choreographer talk about it,” said Lock.

“I hope the audience will experience a new way of connecting with contemporary dance and feel the joy, intensity, virtuosity and power; the celebration of the body in motion and our shared humanity in this moment, in a different medium from what we normally present. I hope the camera will guide the audience to see new perspectives,” said Barsky.

Don’t miss “Threshold” Nov. 12-15, via ArtsKSU Virtual. Reserve your space for this free, virtual performance.

--Kathie Beckett