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Contemporary Dance Oklahoma hosts free outdoor dance performance

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Contemporary Dance Oklahoma to host outdoor performance Oct. 17 at 3 p.m.

Contemporary Dance Oklahoma will present a free performance on an outdoor stage between the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art parking lot and the Russell Center this Saturday. 

One of the performers, Hanna Golden, said the performance is a preview of Contemporary Dance Oklahoma’s upcoming show set to take place the weekend of Oct. 30th. Golden, a modern dance performance and psychology junior, said the outdoor show will feature shortened versions of the dances the group will perform at its larger showcase.

Golden said the COVID-19 pandemic has stripped away the opportunity to perform normally. The outdoor show is meant to be a safe space for the dancers to show off their skills, but she said performing during a pandemic, even outdoors, still presents challenges. 

The dancers had to rework their choreography so they could stand six-feet apart at all times, and Golden said it has been difficult to catch her breath mid-performance while wearing a mask.

“(Reworking the show) definitely took a lot of creative effort ... It's really worth it when you can actually perform instead of being on Zoom all day,” Golden said.

The show will feature a mix of modern and contemporary works, and Golden said she is especially excited about performing a dance created by Roxanne Lyst, OU assistant professor and Artistic Director of Contemporary Dance Oklahoma.

The pandemic has taken a toll on many performers, and Golden said she and her fellow dancers were growing weary of not being able to share their craft. 

“I think we were all just kind of yearning for more performance opportunities, especially to get the fine arts out there,” Golden said. “A lot of people aren't thinking about them during COVID.”

The free outdoor performance will take place at 3 p.m. Oct. 17 in the park area between Fred Jones Jr. Museum and the Russell Center. 

Spectators are encouraged to bring chairs, blankets and snacks to the performance. All in attendance are required to social distance and adhere to OU’s mask policy, according to an OU Dance Instagram post

“This is how we express ourselves, and we kind of haven't been able to do that for nine months,” Golden said. “I'm excited to finally do what I love and share what I love, even if it's in an informal setting.”

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