DanceScapes in different landscapes


Project Name: T’NODEW, TONERAEW Choreographer: Li Chiao Ping Videographer/Editor: A. Bill Miller, Sydney Meyers

Micheal Bose, Journalist

Many things changed due to the pandemic including masks, social distancing, and dance performances. The challenges faced in this year’s DanceScapes was like no other. It encompassed many aspects out in the public, and was also very unique because it included dances in various places. The guest artist this year was Li Chiao-Ping, a dance professor at UW-Madison.

Li Chiao-Ping received her masters degree at UCLA and started her own dance company in 1990. She has performed in more than 20 works made for movies, everywhere from New York to Oklahoma, these performances were also broadcasted internationally. She was chosen as the guest artist because of her previous accolades and understanding of contemporary and modern dance as they are the styles used in this production. 

Theatre and dance professor Barbara Grubel, was one of the producers for Dancescapes. She explained how the dancers worked with Chiao-Ping to overcome the challenges of rehearsing in a pandemic.

“My jaw hit the floor when I saw what they were able to do with only practicing via using Zoom,” said Grubel. “All of our practices and rehearsals were all over Zoom while Li Chiao-Ping was in California.”

Lagging in a meeting may be okay, but when it comes to dance rehearsal – not so much. Grubel said it was very difficult because the audience is one of the best parts of the show. Editing this year was crucial because this is the first ever all virtual DanceScapes. The editors can also change light or coloring behind the dance to enhance certain aspects of the performance. 

Nathan Hill is a choreographer of this year’s DanceScapes who helped create dance routines. He is a senior dance major at UW-Whitewater. 

“This year was very unique because you can use the outside and public to your advantage,” said Hill.

This is very different from the other DanceScapes because their previous ones have been inside. The dances and choreographers are able to do different moves and rhythms as they have more space or different objects they can play with in creating choreography. Nathan has been dancing since high school and chose Whitewater because the university offered a dance program where he could learn and grow as a dancer. His experience dancing through the pandemic is one that neither he nor the rest of the ensemble will ever forget. 

DanceScapes will debut digitally March 30 at 7:30pm online. Visit to learn more about the performance and purchase tickets. 

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