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DanceATL, a nonprofit support organization, will host an informal “taste” of in-progress, interdisciplinary works created in the past five months as part of its A.M. Collaborative initiative. The virtual program will air at 7 p.m. Friday.

The evening will feature livestreamed performances, discussions about the artists’ processes and a Q&A with viewers. It’s billed as a preview of work that will hopefully be shown, either in person or online, later this year. The event is free, but attendees must register in advance.

Since the initiative resulted in more works than can be shared in one evening, audiences can see them all online starting Friday morning (February 26). Each work will illustrate the way in which artists are handling the constraints of the pandemic, personally and artistically. Some address loneliness and isolation. Some were filmed in homes or studios, others outdoors. Some are long, some short. “It’s a myriad of different tastes,” says Jacquelyn Pritz, DanceATL operations manager and one of the event’s curators. “It’s fascinating.”  

DanceATL came up with the concept last year to encourage artists to continue creating during the shutdown, to find support in community and to stretch artistically. Most of the 40 applicants come from the dance world; 25 percent were from other disciplines — photography, spoken word, visual art, costume design and performance art. Organizers invited artists of all levels to apply, from beginner to professional, and all were accepted. So audiences will see a wide range of work and ideas, some polished, some not, and some more experimental than others. 

Among the artists presenting Friday are flamenco dancer Ania Bartelmus and West African dancer Pendu Malik; they will discuss how choreography in their respective traditions is emerging from their life experiences. Atlanta Ballet dancer Keith Reeves and videographer Michael Boatright will discuss their full-length documentary of Reeves’ October 2020 Bodies in Motion show. Poet HG Gruebmeyer and A. Raheim White, a movement and spoken-word artist, will perform live. 

A.M. Collaborative began last year with a Zoom event designed to introduce artists to one another and match each person with a collaborator. Some artists wanted an accountability buddy, others an in-depth artistic collaboration. Each team was supported by one of four curators as they ground out new ideas, formulated and filmed them. 

According to board member Douglas Scott, artistic and executive director of Full Radius Dance, DanceATL is the first dance service organization to really take root in the community. Past incarnations fizzled for various reasons. He says he feels this version will stick because the Atlanta dance community is growing. Kennesaw State University, Emory University and Spelman College all have robust dance departments and artists are moving here from other dance-rich cities. Next year, he says, DanceATL may present an in-person taste. Stay tuned.

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