Sparrow

The Newark-based Delaware Dance Company will have an online presentation of its spring gala show “The Light In Us” available on YouTube from May 1 at 2 p.m. to May 5.

The Newark-based Delaware Dance Company will offer a performance of “The Light In Us,” its spring gala show, for free on its YouTube channel next week.

The show debuts Saturday at 2 p.m. and will be viewable through May 5 on YouTube and at delawaredancecompany.org.

The 80-minute show will feature a wide array of styles, including jazz, classical ballet and contemporary. The groups had to be completely socially distanced and wear masks during performance, creating a challenge for choreographers who had to design dances that don’t require any contact.

“All of the pieces are very engaging, and exciting and successful without touch,” said business manager Mary Roth. “A lot of our choreography usually does include lifts, partnering and interaction between, so this was definitely something new.”

The show features two groups, the Performing Company, made up of high school students, and Youth Dance Ensemble, consisting of kids 12 to 14 years old.

Two notable pieces that will be part of the show were adjudicated for the Regional Dance America virtual festival. The two differ wildly in tone, according to Roth. “Fracture,” is a dark and moody avant garde piece by Newark native Chloe Cowden. It is a very emotive piece, with very specific movements meant to provoke images and emotions compared to the constant movement of a classical ballet. The other piece, “Sparrow,” by artistic director Sunshine Webster-Latshaw is brighter, with all the dancers in white and more motion.

“Sparrow” is broken into two parts. The first is based around Johann Johannsson’s “A Sparrow Alighted on our Shoulder,” while the second more dramatic section is based around Agnes Obel’s “Red Virgin Soil.

“In some of the choreography, there’s different formation and patterns like how birds flock,” said Webster-Latshaw. “It’s loosely based on that communal feeling of working together.”

The company’s previous show “The Nutcracker,” in 2020 was also virtual, attracting nearly 1,500 unique viewers.

After May 5, the company will sell a DVD of “The Light In Us,” through O.K. Video for around $35. Viewers can also donate to the nonprofit through its website.

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