“Everybody was shell shocked because everything we had disappeared in a day,” recalls dancer and choreographer Dr. Melinda Cowen of the first few days of the COVID-19 pandemic. Cohen is the director of the Fusion World Dance Concert II, which was released as a video performance on Saturday, Sept. 12.
While the first concert was done in a theater last year, COVID-19 precautions shifted this year’s performance into a virtual space. The concert brings together dance and music performances from Asia, the Middle East and South America, as well as several modern fusions of these cultures.
Some performers quarantined together during the filming of the show, while others filmed their performances outdoors or on location. Cohen worked with executive producer Aurora Torres Hansen, videographer Vann Patacxil and editor Roy Smith to provide a robust showcase that can be enjoyed at the Asian Coalition’s website for months to come.
“It’s such an amazing show filled with people with so much heart,” says Cohen. “They’re so brave. Some of them have lost their jobs and some of them have lost their homes or apartments. Some didn’t have food on the table. They’ve had to endure a lot but they’ve let the show be that lifeline and that hope. When they got on that stage they lit up like stars because that was the first time they’d been on the stage in six months.”
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