After what had been a strange year for everyone due to the global Covid pandemic, the College of Dance amazingly recorded the College Graduation Theatre Performances, behind closed doors in the TLT Theatre, Drogheda. On Friday the 18th June 2021 the College students, plus a skeleton production team, arrived early at the theatre for a day’s filming. With certain Covid restriction still in place, the logistics of the day had been carefully planned out. Students were still in education pods, individual teachers were given arrival and exit time slots and the production team were separated out throughout the building. While it was certainly different to a normal theatre production, and for many month no one thought it would happen, the day was a brilliant success.
The students were, as ever, incredibly professional. Not only did they have to perform each piece a number of times so that they could be professionally recorded, they had to do this while observing certain covid protocols. It was fantastic to see them working so hard for themselves and each other. They supported everyone and it was lovely to see each and every student shine on the stage. We were so proud of them all.
The day would also not have been such a tremendous success without the hard work and dedication of the small production team. A special thank you to each of them. So, while the students did not get to perform in front of a live theatre audience, they did get to perform in a theatre, on-stage.
TLT THEATRE, DROGHEDA
As we all remember, Covid restrictions significantly changed how organisations managed every aspect of their business. While for a number of months, we had resigned ourselves to the fact that we would not be able to host a theatre-based graduation performance, Covid guidelines suddenly changed. While it was not possible to host a live event, we were given clearance to record an event behind closed door with a skeleton staff. After speaking to several theatres, it was decided that the TLT Theatre in Drogheda was the most suitable solution.
We can’t thank the TLT team enough for all the help and support they gave us during the days filming. So, with the smallest production team possible, and following all the covid guidelines, we spent a magic day at the TLT Theatre recording a performance. While it was a bit of a logistical puzzle, it ended up being a brilliant day and real highlight in what was a challenging year for everyone.
A WIDE ARRAY OF ORIGINAL CHOREOGRAPHY
One of the most special, and impressive, aspects of a College of Dance’s Graduation Performance is that College students get to perform such a wide variety of dance styles and genres. The one performance included a number of different Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Contemporary, Commercial, Musical Theatre performances, as well as a number of solo performances. This diverse array of styles reflects the holistic approach to dance and performing arts education delivered at the College of Dance. It is always brilliant to see students that might not attended a Contemporary, Jazz or Ballet class before being able to perform on-stage at the end of the year, full of passion and confidence.
RTÉ SPECIAL PERFORMANCE
One of the performances recorded during the event was a piece of original choreography by Samantha Lyons, called ‘May I Have This Dance’. Performed by two College students, Jack Cunningham and Lucy Cassidy, this dance was originally created for a special RTE shoot about Valentines’ Day which was recorded in the Phoenix Park, Dublin. It was such a treat for all involved to be able to restage this original work, with the same two dancers and to performing it live on a theatre stage. The full performance of ‘May I Have This Dance’ can now be viewed on our YouTube channel.
FAMILY & FRIENDS ONLINE EVENING
The College of Dance hosted an online evening for students, friends and families. This was a fantastic evening for all involved, and for many, the new normal of online meetings and group events. The evening was hosted by the College’s Artistic Director, Samantha Lyons, and everyone involved loved watching the footage of the live recordings. While it was certainly not the normal Graduation Performance event, it was very special sharing the evening with everyone. It was brilliant to so how amazing the students performed a wide arrange of dance genres.