Local ballet performs without an audience

Virginia

The show goes on for the dancers at Manassas Ballet Theatre

MANASSAS, Va. (WDVM) — Manassas Ballet Theatre had to think fast after months of canceled and postponed performances due to COVID-19.

Artistic director, Amy Wolfe, said she had promised everyone a show, so she had to be creative.

“Covid obviously became something much bigger than any of us thought it would be originally, but I never gave up,” said Wolfe.

She is excited the dancers are back, but continues to ensure they are safe by taking their temperature daily and requiring masks during practice.

Practicing for their next show, Don Quixote.

You may be wondering how the dancers get motivated to perform without an audience. One of the dancers, Kaitlin Frankenfield, said she has found internal motivation through the imagination of an audience watching.

 “So we train our whole lives to dance in front of a live audience, it’s kind of engrained in us.  So it’s a huge huge shift. And I found for me especially, it’s a lot of internal motivation and imagining that if the audience was there, how they would react,” said Frankenfield.

She said typically by the time they reach the stage, there is an added element of a special relationship with the audience, which unfortunately is non-existent with the reality of a virtual performance. She said many dancers actually feel more nervous performing on camera.

“I’ve been talking to a lot of the other dancers in the company and that idea that you can’t just leave it all on the stage and go home.. that it’s on tape for all of eternity is actually a little more nerve wracking in some ways,” said Frankenfield.

Frankenfield expressed gratitude for having the opportunity to dance again and said the transition to a virtual show has been easy for her.

“Losing so many months and having to be at home for so long, I feel like I have a huge arsenal to pull from, compared to if this had happened and we were just right away trying to put on a show,” stated Frankenfield.

Although Wolfe says it’s challenging to record the show, she is thrilled to see people from around the world watching; a silver lining that came with the transition.

“The upside is I have people watching it from Britain, from Australia, from Italy, and I had never thought of this,” stated Wolfe. She believes the transition has been “wonderful” because it allows the audience to stay safe and also allows the dancers to dance again.

Currently, Les Sylphides is streaming. For tickets and more information, click here.

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