ATLANTIC CITY – It was an exhausting and exhilarating day for six Stockton University dance students and Associate Professor of Dance Rain Ross as they created and performed an original dance work on the Boardwalk in front of the Residential Complex at the Atlantic City campus April 9.
“It was a very long day, but very, very fun to create and dance with people,” student Cecilia Mitchell of Montclair said after the performance.
“Learning and doing it all in one day was not something we’d ever done before,” student Abigail Bell of Jackson said.
After a year of COVID-19 Zoom classes, Ross wanted to do a live performance that would share her hope for the future. A group of her students had also performed a drive-in dance in March on a parking lot on the Galloway Township campus, where the car headlights spotlighted the dancers and the audience watched from their cars.
Ross said creating, rehearsing and performing on the Boardwalk gave passersby the chance to see students working and creating. And while it was chilly and a bit windy, many people did stop to watch, even if only for a few minutes.
The Boardwalk dance, performed to Jeff Buckley’s cover of “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen, lasted just about six minutes, but hours were spent learning and rehearsing for the 4:30 p.m. performance.
Stockton alumnus and professional dancer Gabriel Reyes filmed the students, who gathered around him to watch the video as they took short breaks to warm up in the Residential Complex lounge.
Ross said the day was a marathon, but worth it.
“I haven’t had a chance to breathe,” she said. “But it was an event, and I’d do it all again with these dancers.”
The participating dance students were: seniors Alexa Angelucci of Florence, Ciara Civitello of Egg Harbor Township and Agnes Cancio of Union; junior Cecilia Mitchell of Montclair, and first-year students Abigail Bell of Jackson and Brooke Butler of Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
A group of students will also perform their own original works at the Emerging Choreographers Showcase at 7:30 p.m. April 22-24. The performances will be livestreamed on the Stockton Dance website.