University of North Texas

UNT Faculty Dance Concert Goes Virtual Due to Pandemic

Free tickets are available for this weekend's online dance program called 'Awakened.'

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The pandemic forced the University of North Texas Dance Department to get creative for its annual faculty dance concert.

Last year the show was live. This year, the pandemic forced them to move the concert, called "Awakened" online.

"So we had to recalibrate what our expectations were," the show's artistic director Teresa Cooper said. "To be honest, I think our concert ended up being more varied."

The dance performances were recorded on location across Dallas-Fort Worth; from Sons of Hermann Hall to an outdoor wooded setting to a swimming pool. The dances reflect what the pandemic magnified -- everything from social injustice to isolation.

"It's like we were kind of thrown into the water, " Cooper said. "We had to kind of just come up and take in the new reality."

That new reality required a new way of creative thinking.

"Every dancer would have loved to perform live for their last time, but we gain more experience doing this," UNT graduating senior dancer Michael Steed said. "I don't think I'd change a thing."

Going online gave some of the dancers opportunities to explore production and editing, things that would not have been needed in a live performance.

"It's been a really good year," Steed said. "A learning year."

The online production of "Awakened" is free. Showtimes are 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. The Sunday matinee will be followed by a live talkback with choreographers.

To reserve tickets, click here.

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