Dancing in the Landscape performances highlight dancer talent along with Elon’s campus

The dancers will perform around campus on Friday, Sept. 24, and Saturday, Sept. 25, as part of Family Weekend.

This weekend Elon dance majors will abandon the stage and instead take to performing in various locations around campus. The annual “Dancing in the Landscape” event is a site-specific dance performance that offers audiences the chance to enjoy Elon’s beautiful campus and breathtaking dance moves.

Performances will begin at the Snow Family Grand Atrium in the School of Communications at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 24, and at noon on Saturday, Sept. 25. Dancers will present various pieces inspired by their performance location.

This year’s “Dancing in the Landscape” director, Associate Professor of Dance Jen Guy Metcalf said immersing the performance in the outdoors landscape and providing the audience more mobility is unique.

“In traditional theatre, the audience is usually in chairs facing a stage,” she said. “In our concert, the audience has the freedom to move around each piece and travel through the landscape as the concert progresses.”

“Dancing in the Landscape” began in 2007. It was created and directed by Professor Lauren Kearns, but has since been headed by a variety of choreographers. 2020 was the first year that the event was not able to be performed for a live audience. Instead, pre-taped segments were broadcast live online. It marks a return to live, in-person dance performances on campus.

“The 2021 Dancing in the Landscape concert will be our first in-person dance performance at Elon in approximately 565 days,” Metcalf said.

Site-specific choreographers turn to unique aspects of each location as inspiration for the dancers’ movements. The creative process is different in an outdoor setting, as performers and choreographers must adapt to, rehearse and perform in any type of weather.

Student choreographer Lauren Jacobbe ‘23 is honored to have her work be featured in the show. “Especially after this time not being able to have live performances, it has just been an honor knowing my work will be presented live this weekend,” she said. “The originality of this performance is what makes it so captivating and intriguing to watch!”

Many performances will take place Under the Oaks, but some performances can also be watched on the screens in the Snow Family Grand Atrium.

“My piece is based on the heaviness and intensity of the endless news cycle, not only for the consumer, but also for the producer,” said student choreographer Ashlyn Deloughy ‘22. “I chose to show my piece as a dance film on the Snow Atrium monitor to highlight the impact of constantly watching news events unfold on a screen.”

With a weekend forecast full of sunshine, Elon dance majors are eager to slip on their shoes, and give audiences an unforgettable performance. For more information, visit the Elon performing arts website, or check out the Elon Dance program Instagram @elondance.