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Editor’s Note

With the world’s stages dark, this month’s Rail dance section looks at dance from a distance. Our writers explore dance as a salve for isolation, how dance bears up as streamed performance video, podcasts on the art of dancemaking, choreographies of dancing together, apart. Dance, for the individual and for the collective, has been a source of healing and human connection since time immemorial. I hope these pieces remind and inspire us to find new ways to support the dance community in this time of need.

Dancing Paula Abdul in my Living Room

Somehow Abdul, on the stage of the Shrine Auditorium in 1990, makes it look as if her dance couldn’t exist with any less space, but replicating (to the best of my ability) her dance in close quarters is a reminder of how dancers can expand the most confined of spaces. Abdul only needed a bathroom and half a mirror.

Trading Velvet Seats for Couch Viewing

Moviegoers have been opting for home viewing before it was forced upon them. Some called the release of Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman on Netflix the canary in the coalmine for the end of movie theaters. COVID-19 was the sooner-than-expected cave-in. Can streaming be a sustainable business model for ballet?

UnSequenced: A Podcast About the Choreographic Process

Episode one of UnSequenced dropped on June 1, 2019, when the world as we knew it was the world as we no longer know it. The podcast releases a new episode every month and I look forward to hearing from movement artists about how their choreographic practices have changed since the advent of the global coronavirus pandemic.

Touch Without Touching

Dance is often assumed to take place in a singular delineated space with specific bodies and specific movements. But these assumptions limit our understanding. Works such as these reveal that we can also dance with those not physically there beside us.


The Brooklyn Rail

MAY 2020

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