Amid Pandemic, Dancers To Perform In Spring Complex

The Gustavus Dance Company will perform for the campus community April 22-25.
Posted on April 19th, 2021 by

by Marie Osuna ’21

Despite a worldwide pandemic and over a year of Zoom classes, the Gustavus Dance Company is set to perform a spring show.

“We’re not calling it a concert‒it’s titled the Spring Dance Complex. We changed the title because the venue/forum is different,” Melissa Rolnick, Associate Professor and Co-Chair in Theatre and Dance, said. Rolnick is also one of this year’s concert co-directors.

The performances will take place from April 22-25 at 7:30 p.m. Due to COVID restrictions, tickets are only available to Gustavus students, faculty, and staff.

Unlike concerts of years past, which typically take place in the Evan and Evelyn Anderson Theatre, this one will be performed almost entirely outside at different sites.

“My piece was essentially made on the stage, and we put it outside on the grass. It’s going to work, but it’s definitely different,” Rolnick said.

The outdoor locations have made the concert more difficult, but also more exciting.

I’m really grateful for the opportunity to still have a dance concert this year. I’ve never been a part of a concert with so many pieces in different locations, so that’s a really unique aspect of this year’s concert,” Senior Megan Setterlund said.

Setterlund is an economics major with a dance minor, and has been involved in the Gustavus Dance Company since her first year.

“My favorite part about being involved in the Gustavus Dance Company are the people that I’ve gotten to meet and learn from within the dance company. It’s a really supportive group that is always encouraging me to be my best self while giving me the resources I need in order to become better. It’s just a really great group of people,” Setterlund said.

Rolnick is most excited for her students to be able to perform live again after over a year of cancelled concerts and film dances.

“That live element‒people are hungry for it. Zoom is great, but it has its limitations,” Rolnick said.

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way choreography is done. For example, dancers stay distanced and don’t have any interaction with one another. However, the challenges have still resulted in gorgeous pieces and dancers feel safe.

We’ve been really conscious of wearing masks and staying six feet apart, so it’s always felt like a really safe activity,” Setterlund said.

Though continuing to dance throughout the pandemic has been a challenge, Rolnick notes that her students have been so adaptable.

“I just feel like it’s important to say that the students have been so game‒they have adapted so well to the strangeness of everything. [This year has] just been a good lesson in adaptation all the way around,” Rolnick said. “In theatre and dance, what we teach is so challenging online. And I think we’ve done good work. We’ve been pushed, but I think we’ve been successful. The logistics have been challenging, but everyone’s attitude has been fantastic.”


One Comment

  1. Shanan Tolzin says:

    Can’t wait to see it!