Contemporary dance: With destruction comes new opportunities


Brynn Lundy

Contemporary dance students perform in the KHS 153 Dance Studio during the Fall 2020 semester.

On Wednesday, Sept. 29, the cast from MAINSTAGE: “The Purpose” were supposed to have their first performance at the Vonnie Borden Theatre in D Vickers Hall. Due to Hurricane Ida, D Vickers had to be shut down because of damage.

For senior double major Brooke Harris, Hurricane Ida already caused impacts on her senior dance concert because it has been rescheduled. 

“My concert was supposed to be Oct. 2. However, due to the storm damage in the Vonnie Borden, Pottle Auditorium and Columbia we had to move my concert to Saturday, Jan. 29, 2022. All of my dancers and myself are impacted by this because some of my dancers are graduating or entering into more rigorous coursework in the spring which limits their availability to rehearse and perform,” Harris explained.

Harris will have to reconstruct her concert to accommodate these changes. However, she was not the only person in the dance department who was affected by the hurricane. It affected the entire dance program and their performances.

“Hurricane Ida has had a tremendous impact on the dance department. The most significant change is not having a studio anymore due to flooding, which destroyed the specially designed dance floor and damaged many props/costumes,” said senior biology education major Emma Pinion.

The storm also hindered the dance program’s ability to hold classes since the Kinesiology and Health Studies building, which houses the dance studio, was rendered unusable for a time after the storm.

Artistic Director Keith “Skip” Costa said, “All of our dancers were impacted by these changes as well as our course students including DNC 100 Introduction to Dance and Honors 191.”

Although most of the performances for this season have been canceled, there are still some opportunities to perform.

“Since our dance studio and Vonnie Borden Theatre is closed this semester we have moved into Pennington for our classes and our October MAINSTAGE concert is canceled so we have been invited to perform at ULL within their ‘State of Louisiana Dance’ concert which has been going on for over 20 years which is an amazing opportunity for our dance students,” Costa said.

These students also have the opportunity to perform today in a one-hour improvisation concert titled “A Merry Mix of Christmas” which is set to take place outside of the Pottle Music Building at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 for students, seniors, children and military, and $12 for general admission. They can be purchased in the Pottle lobby one hour before the performance.

Even without a proper dance studio, students continue to perfect their skills for the few performances still taking place. These students still have a positive attitude about their opportunities.

“Overall, there are less opportunities to perform and be involved in the program, but we are thankful for the opportunities we do have and we are looking forward towards future performances,” Harris said.

To find out more information about the performances see the 2021 contemporary dance calendar.