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Socially distanced dance series draws to a close in Tampa Bay

There are just two more episodes in the Dance in the Time of Coronavirus series created by Andee Scott and Amanda Sieradzki.
Ethan Barbee carries the movement during "Reverberation," a socially distanced dance performance on the streets of St. Petersburg on June 13.
Ethan Barbee carries the movement during "Reverberation," a socially distanced dance performance on the streets of St. Petersburg on June 13. [ ALVARO G. GABALDON | Courtesy of Andee Scott ]
Published Aug. 6, 2020|Updated Aug. 10, 2020

In reaction to theaters and studios being closed due to the threat of COVID-19, “dance-makers” Andee Scott and Amanda Sieradzki created Dance in the Time of Coronavirus, a series of socially distanced dance performances that were performed around various outdoor places in St. Petersburg and Tampa this summer.

Related: Related: Dozens of dancers will perform on the streets of St. Petersburg

The pair created the series as a way to re-envision dance in the time of social distancing and felt that as artists it was their responsibility to rise to whatever challenge they face. They produced four performances that people watched while socially distancing from across the street or moving by on bicycles in nearby bike lanes.

But, with the number of coronavirus cases on the rise, the choreographers have decided to draw the series to a close a bit early. Scott and Sieradzki said in an email that the series was always planned for just the summer, but they felt it was wise to end it early.

“Every new episode was a gift,“ Sieradzki said in an email. “Given the ever-changing circumstances between the pandemic and tropical weather, I never really knew how a performance would unfold or what might need to shift. I think the experimental nature of the series is definitely reflected in its end, which is not truly an end.”

Also, both choreographers are also professors and will resume teaching in late August.

Related: Dancers perform while social distancing on the streets of downtown St. Petersburg

Scott, whose dance company is called Dance Linkages, has partnered with the Studio@620 to present her performance Constellation, a multimedia show that happens in two parts and includes a video installation.

Beginning Aug. 8, a series of dancers in four time zones will each perform a short solo every 15 minutes from 11 to 11:45 a.m. in their home location/time zone. The dances will be livestreamed via the Studio@620′s event page every 15 minutes, from 11 a.m. to 2:45 p.m.

The dancers hail from New York, Texas, North Carolina, Colorado, California and Mexico. The performances will track from east to west across the country and through time zones, to mimic stars moving through the sky.

Then on Aug. 15, a video installation of the recordings of those performances will play on a collection of video monitors in the window of the Studio@620 from 5 to 10 p.m. through Aug. 21.

Visit the thestudioat620.org for more details.

Scott said she plans to build on the concept of Constellations in her future work.

“I’d love to create an even larger version with more people around the world,” she said in an email. “I am really enamored with the idea of the dance itself moving across space and time and utilizing technology to bring us all together in new and creative ways.”

She’s currently working on a collaborative piece with author Tenea D. Johnson, which would have been the final performance in the Dance in the Time of Coronavirus series. The outdoor performance explores how to move through stories and will allow the audience ways to navigate through a series of duets. She hopes to present it in the fall.

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The final performance in the series is choreographed by Sieradzki, whose company is called Poetica. (E)Volution is a durational dance that has no beginning or end. Viewers are invited to watch as pedestrians or on bicycles and are encouraged to social distance and to wear masks.

A previous performance of "(E)Volution." Choreographed by Amanda Sieradzki, the socially distanced dance is from the Dance in the Time of Coronavirus series. Its final performance happens Aug. 22.
A previous performance of "(E)Volution." Choreographed by Amanda Sieradzki, the socially distanced dance is from the Dance in the Time of Coronavirus series. Its final performance happens Aug. 22. [ Courtesy of Amanda Sieradzki ]

It will be performed from 11 a.m. to noon on Aug. 22 at Seaplane Basin Park & Davis Islands Trail, 864 Severn Ave., Tampa. The performance will also be livestreamed on facebook.com/poeticadance.

Through Poetica, Sieradzki is going to continue applying the (E)Volution concept in Atlanta’s Fall for Fall Festival on Sept. 11-13 with a new solo, socially distanced work titled Here Are Our Family Roots.

Sieradzki is the artistic director for the University of Tampa’s annual Evening of Experimental Dance on Nov. 13 and will be applying the virtual organizing and choreographing techniques, which will have both traveling and outdoor elements.

Scott and Sieradzki said they don’t know if they’ll bring back the series in the future but were so grateful to work with each other.

“This was a truly unprecedented summer and I am incredibly proud of what Andee and I were able to accomplish together,“ Sieradzki said in an email. “The series was a fortuitous meeting of our mutual passions and research in site-specific dance, but also answered a deeper yearning for live performance that I felt as a choreographer and that I was able to share with our dancers and the Tampa Bay community.”

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