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The show does go on, despite being twenty weeks in the making

  • COLAB 2020

Despite the challenges of COVID-19, Unitec’s Year 3 Dance students finally got to perform their choreographic showcase in the Unitec Theatre last week.

With two lockdowns delaying the start of the School of Creative Industries’ shows this year, it was with a sense of relief and excitement that Unitec’s Dance students finally got to showcase their choreographic projects after weeks of interrupted preparation.

The Year 3 Dance Choreographic Showcase -- coLAB3 – finally started its three-night run in the Unitec Theatre last Thursday night, performed in-house to Performing and Screen Arts’ staff and students.  All students, crew and audience wore masks with strict house protocols in place to ensure compliance with restrictions on gatherings and with seating capacity reduced to 30 people to allow for physical distancing guidelines.

The electrifying and emotional performance featured ten original works choreographed by the students under the supervision of Unitec dance lecturer Katie Burton.  

“The events of this year have presented an enormous challenge to our third year cohort, but they have responded and adapted incredibly well to the evolving situation,” said Katie. “Rehearsals for the showcase would normally have started in April, but because of lockdown, they worked instead on a digital solo project and began online rehearsals for their group work.  At that point we had no idea when, or even if, we would return to the studio.”

Students resumed face-to-face rehearsals in June, with extra hygiene measures and face coverings on, “and their developing works responded to the desire to dance together again, to touch, to leap through space, to sweat, to laugh, and to feel the studio floor beneath their feet,” added Katie.

The Year 2 Dance Choreographic Showcase, coLAB 2, is scheduled for 23-26 September in the Dance Studios. Plays by the Year 2 acting students will also be running in the Unitec Theatre with 12 Angry Men on 24-25 September and The Freedom of the City on 1-2 October.  The performances are planned for an in-house audience only, but will open to the public if alert levels drop and restrictions around mass gatherings are relaxed.