APART / TOGETHER Amber Sloan, Nik Owens, Jordan Morley
Choreography by Amber Sloan
Performance by Nik Owens and Amber Sloan
Videography by Jordan Morley
Christine Jowers for The Dance Enthusiast: Amber, how are you and your near and dears ones doing?
Amber Sloan: My husband and I are doing well. We have been riding out the quarantine in Jersey City with our cat, Shado. We are staying safe and practicing social distancing, mask-wearing, and good hand hygiene. We definitely miss our extended families, especially as the holidays approach, but with both sets of parents being immune-compromised, our primary goal is to keep them safe and healthy.
What practices have helped you keep sane during this time of pandemic, social distancing, and unrest?
Amber: I teach several yoga classes a week over Zoom so moving and breathing is definitely helpful. I also regularly take Janet Panetta's online ballet class which has created a sense of routine and community.
What are you most grateful for at this time?
Amber: I'm grateful for the opportunities I've had to create. The first few months of the lockdown were challenging. I was working on a new commission for Dance on the Lawn and I really disliked rehearsing over Zoom. I wanted to be in the same room with my dancers and was angry, scared, and sad about the situation of our country.
After a while, I realized that those rehearsals, while not in the ideal setting I would have liked, were helping me cope and survive. I was happy for a creative outlet and the time I had with my dancers. Much of the material for the duet I'm currently developing came from that time.
Nik Owens and I will perform the duet on November 21st at 6:30 & 8:30pm at Arts On Site in a shared program with Javier Padilla. Tickets can be purchased at https://artsonsite.ticketleap.com/arts-alive/and artist discounts are offered as needed.
What do you dream for dance in the future?
Amber: I want dance to continue to thrive and grow in New York City.
I have recently joined two organizations that are fighting to keep dance alive and relevant at this time. The first, Dance Rising NYC, organized by a collective of dance artists and administrators, is a platform for embodied advocacy, based on two interconnected components that encompass live and video formats. Our first “Hyper Local Dance Out” event, held on October 1st and 3rd, included over 200 professionals throughout all five boroughs dancing in parks, on rooftops, and over social media livestream. Another event is scheduled for December 3rd and 5th.
Second, I have joined the leadership team at Arts On Site as their Community Developer. Arts On Site, located at 12 St. Marks Place in the East Village, was established in 2016 to support the development of artists and build community. In response to the pandemic, they have created four and seven day residency programs, adhering to all current Covid-19 protocols. They have also moved their monthly Performance Party online, providing dance, theater, and music artists a free platform to share their latest work to a supportive audience of fellow art enthusiasts.
What thoughts would you most like to share with The Dance Enthusiast audience?
Amber:To keep making art, and support others in their art-making. We will get through this together!
Amber Sloan, Yi-Chun Wu