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UNR’s Department of Theatre and Dance moves Fall Dance Festival online

By Kylie Masznicz
Published: Last Updated on
Flicker Into a Flame at the UNR Dance Festival

The University of Nevada, Reno’s annual Fall Dance Festival moved online this year. In previous years, the dance recital was held on a stage in front of a live audience. However, to shake things up (and conform with public health restrictions) this year the dances were choreographed to be site-specific, performed for passersby and recorded to share with a virtual audience.

Eight dances were presented for the festival, each performed in or around the University’s “Mother Quad,” a large grass area in the center of campus. Choreographers and student dancers were nervous that the campus would be shut down any minute and the festival would flop, but luckily they were able to perform all their dances before the campus closure planned to begin after Thanksgiving break.

I much prefer watching the site-specific version of the festival. The spaces added a lot of unique elements that the choreographers incorporated into the dance numbers. Some dances were performed in open grass areas while others were in cramped staircases. The variety made the show interesting from start to finish.

The costumes were another wonderful aspect of the festival. It helped make areas that are common appear like mystical or creepy settings. It also helped focus to stay on the dancers themselves as they flawlessly performed their numbers.

The performances premiered on Friday, Nov. 20 and are available to view until midnight on Sunday, Nov. 22. Registration is required, but it’s free to watch. Visit: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/fall-dance-festival-2020-tickets-126313582325

Ritual at the UNR Fall Dance Festival
Ritual at the UNR Fall Dance Festival

The Details

Death by Committee

  • Choreographer: Sarah Johnson
  • Music: Shigeto
  • Dancers: Masha Boyko, Dwight Jones, Fabian Kaiwi, Amanda Klinger, Abby Rosen, Adelynn Tourondel, and Hanna Walkinshaw

Holding Pattern

  • Choreographer: Cari K. Cunningham
  • Music: produced by bes, featuring Rising Appalachia and performances by Bijou Bell, Tashina Habibian, Olivia Knock, and Yahm Steinberg
  • Dancers: Madison Blea, Kiera Middlebrook, Laura Ryerson, Sydney Tello, and Corinne Undercoffer


  • Choreographer: Abby Rosen
  • Music: Louis Prima
  • Dancers: Cheyenne Baker, Madison Blea, Halie Landers, Jordan Mood, and Brooklyn Walker

The Elemental Tree

  • Choreographer: Rebecca Vance
  • Music: Olafur Arnald
  • Dancers: Halie Landers (North/Fire), Lauren Garner (East/Air), Shannon O’Connor (South/Earth), and Marshall Jones (East/Water)

Rush Hour

  • Choreographer: Sarah Ziolkowski
  • Music: Telepopmusik, Angela McCluskey
  • Dancers: Fabian Kaiwi and Kiera Middlebrook


  • Choreographer: Hanna Walkinshaw
  • Music: Teebs
  • Dancers: Ozora Cheek and Jordan Moon


  • Choreographer: Nate Hodges
  • Music: Kings Trail and Ben Lovett
  • Dancers: Ozora Cheek, Cianna Gransberry, and Brooklyn Walker

Flicker Into a Flame

  • Choreographer: Laura Ryerson
  • Music: Sleeping at Last
  • Dancers: Ciana Gransberry, Sarah Johnson, Sydney Tello, and Hanna Walkinshaw

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