The Social dis-Dance Project

isolated, together

Thank you to all who submitted your beautiful work.

You helped us build a better sense of the pandemic.

Social Dis-Dances from around the World

Click on the images to see their work.

Margot Parsons's Social Dis-Dance

Margot Parsons

"Touch Me Not"

Michelle Thompson Ulerich's Social Dis-Dance 1

Michelle Thompson Ulerich

Michelle Thompson Ulerich's Social Dis-Dance

Michelle Thompson Ulerich 2

Giovanni Lampitelli 1

Giovanni Lampitelli 1

Giovanni Lampitelli's Social Dis Dance 2

Giovanni Lampitelli 2

Shizu Yasuda's Social Dis-Dance

Shizu Yasuda

Betsy Boxberger Khalil

Betsy Boxberger Khalil

Cinzia Marrocco

Sofia Klein's Social Dis-Dance

Sofia Klein Herrero

Liam Fitzpatrick's Social Dis-Dance

Liam Fitzpatrick

Morgan Lemos's Social Dis-Dance

Morgan Lemos

Madeleine Bonn

Madeleine Bonn

"Pas de Toilet Paper"

Stephanie Shumway

Stephanie Shumway

"The Arts Will Continue"

Social Dis-Dances of Our Instructors

Social Dis-Dances of Our Student Dancers

Rohini

Amilia and Elizabeth

Amilia and Elizabeth

Willa

Karyn's Social Dis-Dance

Karyn

Caleb's Social Dis-Dance

Caleb

Regina

Regina

Natalie's Social Dis-Dance

Natalie

Ava

Ava

Milena's Social Dis-Dance

Milena

Becka's Social Dis-Dance

Becka

Elizabeth's Social Dis-Dance

Elizabeth

Olivia's Social Dis-Dance

Olivia

Noe

Lia

Maya

Julianne's Social Dis-Dance

Julianne

Emily

Cara's Social Dis-Dance

Cara

    As the coronavirus pandemic disrupts our daily life and forces us into isolation, many of us are suffering not only from limited physical communal activities but also from mental stress and anxiety. In order to help our dancers to cope with this difficult situation, Amherst Ballet is launching the Social Dis-Dance Project.

    The Social Dis-Dance Project is a free program intended to provide Amherst Ballet and other dancers with a creative outlet, social connection, and feeling of unity and support. To participate in this project, fill out the entry form below and submit a video of no more than two minutes in length—shot at home, in a studio, or outside where no one is around—of an original dance solo (or duet). The theme of these short pieces of choreography can be: 1) the experience of the coronavirus pandemic; 2) the social distancing ordinance; or 3) the general circumstances and emotions this crisis has brought about. The submitted videos will be posted on our website after screening by the artistic director for appropriateness of content. The program includes the option of choreographic coaching and artistic mentorship by UMass professor Paul Dennis.

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Have I Gone Mad

Becka

Adult Open Ballet

Music: “Mad World” Cover performed by John Clarence Stewart

During this time being stuck mostly inside and cut off from social interactions have more people suffering from Mental Illness. Suffering from Depression myself at times I have felt boxed in and my mind gets the better of me, makes me feel like there’s no way out. Too much time spent like this can make you feel as if you’re going a bit Mad.

Julianne

Ballet Fundamentals

It’s a good song to dance ballet to, feels good!

Different Days Same Distance 2

Michelle Thompson Ulerich

Spark Movement Collective Artistic Director/SUNY Purchase Professor/Freelance Choreographer
New York City
michellethompson.org

“Different Days Same Distance” is an exploration of the challenges of being separated from your community and daily schedule physically. Discovering a new movement practice under these circumstances feels essential for dancers and movers. I have been carving out a tiny bit of time every day to move in my kids’ room. It has also uncovered feelings of distance and separation from other times in my life. The song is “You are my sunshine” Cover by JasmineThompson

Liam Fitzpatrick

South Shore Ballet Theatre
Boston, MA

Music: “Reminiscence” by Ólafur Arnalds

The piece is about missing something or someone, but I like to leave it up to interpretation.

Morgan Lemos

Mount Holyoke College
South Hadley, MA

Investigating impulses in the time where impulses seem impossible to find.

Hallelujah

Shizu Yasuda

Ad Deum II
Houston, TX

My thought process of this piece is a sense of desperate powerlessness before this Coronavirus Pandemic that is completely beyond human’s power and control led me to go to the empty studio. My dance became a conversation with that Mighty Power and the complete surrender to that Highest Power drew ‘Hallelujah’ from me.

Pressed

Betsy Boxberger Khalil

Boston, MA

During this period of social distancing, I see a contrast between my daily activities, which don’t vary much from day to day, and the world outside, which continues to change. I created this piece to help me explore the positive and negative aspects of separation during this unusual time.

Giovanni Lampitelli

Contemporary – Modern dancer
Naples, ITALY

Music: “Nuvole Bianche” by Rogerio Tutti

I tried to exrpress my feeling about this innatural leaving of the passion which has made my life for years, something I’ve never experienced before.

Giovanni Lampitelli

Contemporary – Modern dancer
Naples, ITALY

Music: “Nuvole Bianche” by Rogerio Tutti

I tried to exrpress my feeling about this innatural leaving of the passion which has made my life for years, something I’ve never experienced before.

Pas de Toilet Paper

Madeleine Bonn

Artistic Director

Music: Copin Waltz in C-sharp Minor

The Arts Will Continue

Stephanie Shumway

Instructor, Ballet & Hip Hop

Music: “Hallelujah” (Instrumental) by Michael Ronstadt

Creativity is not an option; it is essential.

Caleb

Advanced Ballet

Music: “The Worst” by Jhené Aiko

I decided to do a short improvisation, inspired by the beauty and beginning of spring. For me it represents moving forward and getting out of this trapped space in my mind and in my home, and into the free and expressive outdoors.

Regina

Ballet Fundamentals

The video was about Regina thinking about happy moments while staying at home for the COVID-19. She uses her Swan Lake music box for a piece of calm and quiet music. She wanted to show that dancing, listening to music and reading make her happy. 

Elizabeth

Level IV Ballet

Music: “Rise Up” by Andra Day

I enjoyed creating this even though I’m not the best at choreography.

Olivia

Level II Ballet

Mindless Town

Natalie

Intermediate Ballet

It is called “Mindless Town”, which reflects on how right now everything feels somewhat eerie and empty during this pandemic.

Milena

Intermediate Ballet

Music: Chopin Waltz in A Minor

The Lazy Dance

Ava

LevelIII Ballet

Music: “The Lazy Song” by Bruno Mars, cover by Megan Nicole

Noe

Advanced Ballet, Hip Hop

Music: “Brotsjór” by Ólafur Arnalds

This music is very intense and painful for me to listen to, and is representative of the world’s pain at this moment. The high violin note is a cry of loss which I modeled my movements on. This improvisation is my reaction to the uncontrollable death we are witnessing.

Lovely

Lia

Level II Ballet

Improv in an Empty Studio

Maya

Advanced Ballet, Hip Hop, Modern III

Music: “Do You Remember”
by Jarryd James

Magic

Emily

Level II Ballet

Music: “Hedwig’s Theme” by John Williams

Paranoia

Cinzia Marrocco

Academy of Music and Performing Arts
Warriewood, Australia

Music: “Following a Bird” by Ezzio Bosso

The work explores how the threat of contagion can twist our psychological responses to ordinary interactions, leading us to behave in unexpected ways. The film explores the paranoia people are experiencing owing to the pandemic, as researched in an article it shows people are showing Moral vigilance, Fear of outsiders, Conforming to society norm. ‘Paranoia’ begins quite peaceful and calm, repetition is used to show comfortability and routine. As the work progresses the movement material becomes bigger, and uses a lot of space, highlighting the chaos in the mind brought on by paranoia.

Rohini

Hip Hop, Modern III

Music: “Movement” by Hozier

For me, quarantine is lonely and unproductive, but it is also filled with bursts of inspiration and creativity. The inspiration for this piece came when I was walking my dog in the meadow behind my house. The weather wasn’t great, so I was the only person outside. The vast emptiness, the isolation, the way the wind felt on my skin, the grey of the sky, all suddenly made me want to just move and dance and create.

Joyful Attitude

Amilia and Elizabeth

Level I Ballet

Music: “Rein Drops Keep Falling on My Head” by B. J. Thomas

Solitude

Cara

Intermediate Ballet, Modern III

It was inspired by being alone in nature and with your thoughts during social distancing.

Touch Me Not

Margot Parsons

Presented by DanceVisions, Inc.
Choreography: Margot Parsons, Artistic Director of DanceVisions, Inc.
Poem: “Whoso List to Hunt,” by Sir Thomas Wyatt (1503-1542), read by Marcia Karp
Dancers, left to right: Christine McDowell, Amane Takaishi, Marin Orlosky Randow
Video: Maximal Image ®

At Boston College and Boston University we were given a few days to figure out how to keep our classes going, particularly when they are for credit. I have a small room that houses my dance library and also has a barre.  It quickly became my classroom for teaching.  On the plus side I have all my books available to use as a visual to enlarge on points of discussion.  I set up Zoom and contacted the students.  I use my iPod for ballet tapes and three days a week my regular accompanist plays for the class from her living room in Brookline.

What is so amazing is the conductivity of the technology.  We all see each other.  The pianist and I can see each other and communicate and the students can follow the barre and center work.  I can even make individual corrections   I give a complete barre and an almost complete center. Movement for the center work is limited but tendus, pirouettes, adagio and waltzes are possible.  When it comes to jumping, the combinations need to move more vertically than horizontally.  Leaping and tour jetes are not possible. The class provides the development of strength, alignment, flexibility, musicality, and endurance within the classical form.  We cannot feel the exhilaration of moving through space but at this point I am happy that the clarity of the technique is being addressed.

After a couple of weeks of teaching this way I became curious if I could choreograph using Zoom for three members of my Company, DanceVisions, Inc.  The three were to perform at an event in March that had to be postponed.  I wanted to give them something to do plus I did not want to lose the momentum of regular three-hour rehearsals on Saturdays.  I had a friend who was a poet and so I contacted her and she suggested the poem for the dance.  From my small room and each dancer’s limited space, we met on Zoom for three, two-hour rehearsals on three Saturdays for a total of 6 hours, to put a 1 minute, 45 second dance together.  That is a long time for such a short dance.  The problems that needed solving were: what movements to select for a two-dimensional viewing, how to make a dance that is not literal to the words but still evokes the feeling of  “Touch Me Not,” how to sync up the movement for three people who cannot feel each other or breath together, how to have a meter to the spoken text that the three dancers could feel, what words to select as cues for the dancers to come together as a group, when to let go of unison and let the dancers do the same movement without syncing up, and finally what to wear.  I did not want to get sentimental with the piece but wanted the movement to be abstract while still conveying the emotion of what is at the heart of the poem and is, at this moment, what each of us must hear and say, Noli me tangere (“touch me not”).

Margot Parsons: Contemporary ballet choreographer and teacher of ballet; Artistic Director and choreographer for her company, DanceVisions, Inc.
She has set her work on Boston Ballet II, BalletNY, Across the Ages Dance, and Harvard Ballet, Wellesley, and BU students.  She teaches ballet at Boston University and Boston College, taught at The Dance Complex for 27 years and at Harvard University for 13 years, and is a substitute teacher at Boston Ballet and Jose Mateo Ballet Theatre. Her years as a performer in NYC included being invited to dance with, Agnes de Mille, and Pearl Lang, and perform with Yuriko, Maggie Black, and in the City Center Production of “The King and I,” and in Boston with Ken Pierce Baroque Dance Company and the Boston Liturgical Dance Ensemble.   She was the first choreographer to be honored in 2018 by The Dance Complex’s, Living Legacy series. In 2020 she was awarded the Dr. Michael Shannon Dance Champion Award by the Boston Dance Alliance. She holds a BS from the University of Wisconsin and an MA with honors from the University of Utah.

Willa

Ballet Fundamentals

Somewhere Between Rage and Restless

Karyn Schwartz

Adult Open Ballet

Music: “Lead Me Home” by Jamie N Commons

I felt the need to move but my body was tired. I wanted to create but my mind was blank.

Different Days Same Distance

Michelle Thompson Ulerich

Spark Movement Collective Artistic Director/SUNY Purchase Professor/Freelance Choreographer
New York City
michellethompson.org

“Different Days Same Distance” is an exploration of the challenges of being separated from your community and daily schedule physically. Discovering a new movement practice under these circumstances feels essential for dancers and movers. I have been carving out a tiny bit of time every day to move in my kids’ room. It has also uncovered feelings of distance and separation from other times in my life. The song is “You are my sunshine” Cover by JasmineThompson

Clicking on the “Register” button will take you to the Parent Portal of Dance Studio Pro. Sign in if you have an account with us. If not, make a free account and sign in. Then add yourself as your student.

In the home page, click “Register for Classes.” –> Choose the one you would like to take and click “Submit.”

To pay the tuition, click  “Account” at top of the screen and choose “Pay Online” in the drop down menu. –> Choose “Other” and click “Next.” –>  Put “12” in the pay amount and finish the payment.

You’ll receive the link to the Zoom class via email. 

Danza en Cuarentena

Sofia Klein Herrero

Ballet Dancer at Oper Wuppertal; Aalto-Musiktheater Essen; Deutsche Oper am Rhein

Music: “Musica nocturna de las Calles de Madrid” by Boccherini