The film "The Outcome" combines dance and animation. Image - Third Coast Dance Festival

The annual Third Coast Dance Festival opens this evening with a virtual screening from the Nevada Museum of Art and continues on Saturday with a screening from the Holland Project. To get you ready for the event, Rosie Trump—a UNR dance professor and one of the festival’s curators—shared some thoughts about what it’s been like to teach and produce dance during a year when, well, everything worked differently.  

What has this past year been like for you as a dance educator?

Rosie Trump. Photo – UNR

We’ve definitely been covering some new territory in terms of dance education. I think everyone’s in a bit of a different place. For example, at UNR, our studio classes are happening in person, and you have extra precautions with social distancing and extra cleaning of the studios, and of course wearing masks, and fewer people in the room and that sort of thing. … I think in general, students were really, really happy to get back in the studio. I noticed a real uptick in … gratitude around the ability to come and socially distanced-ly gather in a space with other people to move. I think the preciousness of that experience was even deeper for people. 

How have your students responded to the problem of having to perform without live audiences?

Yeah, a lot of students have been asking me questions like, “Rosie, how do I make sure my performance reads on the camera?” … They’re thinking about framing the body virtually. It’s definitely on their forefront. One of the other things that’s been really nice about some of our productions—we’ve been able to work with professional film crews for some of the events, so students are learning all that cinema work as well.

I bet your students are going to look back someday and think, “That was all very interesting.”

There have been some really positive experiences that have come out of it, but, you know, it’s still really in an environment of—we’re in the middle of a pandemic. So yes, we’re making lemonade out of lemons, but it’s still some very, very sour lemonade. 

“After The Reign:Confusion,” a film by film by North Carolina artist Jennifer Scully-Thurston, is part of the festival. Image – Third Coast Dance Film Festival

What’s it been like in the dance world outside of the classroom?

Dance was really on the forefront of responding to offering people experiences online. … Dance really embraced that very quickly, offering classes online and screenings and things like that. And something that’s become available—this is a little bit of silver lining—is, for example, Alvin Ailey is doing their whole season available virtually, and for people who would never be able to travel to New York and see that company, it’s a real opportunity to embrace some programming that you never would see otherwise. I saw this wonderful piece presented by Sadler Wells [Theatre] in London over the summer that I never would’ve been able to see otherwise.

Tell me about the film festival. Can we expect any local work?

Yes, there is a local work. … It’s called “The Space Above,” and it’s by the local dance company Collateral and Co., and the choreographers are Caitlyn McCarty and Leslie Balzer, and a cast of six local dancers. It was filmed in Nevada, and it also features poetry by Valerie Padovani. … And you also get to see a really nice variety across the short festival, which I think is kinda cool.

“The Space Above,” a dance filmed in Nevada by local choreographers Caitlyn McCarty and Leslie Balzer, is part of the Holland Project’s free Saturday lineup for the Third Coast Dance Film Festival.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

The 11th annual Third Coast Dance Film Festival screens virtually from the Nevada Museum of Art this evening, Feb. 18, at 6 p.m. Tickets: $5, free for museum members and students. Following the screenings, the museum’s Christian Davies hosts a Q&A with Rosie Trump and filmmaker Marta Renzi.

The festival continues Saturday, Feb. 20 at 7 p.m. on The Holland Project’s YouTube channel. This screening is free. A video installation is on view Feb. 1-28 at The Holland Project, 140 Vesta St. Reno. Gallery hours are Wed-Fri 12-6 p.m., the last Saturday of each exhibition, and by appointment.