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Despite Pandemic, Dance NOW! Miami's Anniversary Show Goes On(line)

Simon Soong
Dance NOW! Miami founders, Diego Salterini and Hannah Baumgarten, with the company's dancers.

When the coronavirus pandemic started shutting down live performances throughout South Florida, it also put the kibosh on some shows meant to celebrate milestones.

Dance NOW! Miami was getting ready to go on stage with its 20th anniversary season finale when the pandemic struck. 

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The program had included Italy's Opus ballet as the featured guest company. For a while, DNM's founders Diego Salterini and Hannah Baumgarten were trying to work out a way for their company to continue working with the Italian company via Zoom. 

"Soon, it became impossible," says Salterini, who comes from Rome. "But it kind of gave us a jolt to be ready for what was happening."

The contemporary dance company, like so many others, decided to leap into the world of digital dance. DNM's virtual season finale is “Zoom, Zoom, Zoom: A Love Letter To Italy," a piece that celebrates the company's strong bond with the first Western country to suffer a major coronavirus emergency.

The components of the final product, which goes online this weekend, were recorded remotely by all nine of DNM's dancers from their homes. Salterini leveraged his years of experience as a dancer and choreographer for Italian television variety shows to take on the role of video editor. The score uses Italian pop tunes from the 1960's and '70s.

Salterini promises a fast-paced viewing experience that includes quick cuts, close-ups and what he calls "some levity."

"We have created something knowing that it will be viewed on a computer screen," he says.

Before You Go (Online):

Dance NOW! Miami Virtual Program III 20th Anniversary Season Finale
Sunday, May 31 at 7 p.m. on Facebook Live
Free, but a $20 "virtual ticket" donation can be made here.

Please visit Dance NOW! Miami

This interview is part of WLRN’s series, “Intermission,” a look at how South Florida’s arts community is using social media and online events to connect with audiences during social distancing. 

If you're an artist or arts organization finding new ways to do this, we would love to hear from you. Please email us at talktous@wlrnnews.org with the word "Intermission" in the subject line. Or call 305-376-3777.