As the weather finally turns to spring in Southwest Michigan and we look to spend more time outside and less in front of our screens, watching what otherwise would have been a live performance on the computer may be the last thing people thought of doing this weekend.
The world’s wild shifts and changes over the past year have required all of us to pivot and adapt, and the arts and the way we interact with them are no exception. Live performance, especially, has taken a hit, and with increased screen time in practically all areas of life, a mere shift from stage to screen for audiences hasn’t exactly cut it.
No doubt this past weekend’s 12th Regional Annual Dance Festival hosted by Wellspring Cori Terry & Dancers was a balm to the pandemic-weary dance lovers who opted in to the virtual event.
Just before sunset on Friday, October 23, I pulled my van into the parking lot of the DeltaPlex Arena, turned on my radio, and waited for the show to begin.
Michael Baumgarten, the second star of our Backstage Bios series, has provided lighting design for many Opera Grand Rapids productions, including The Magic Flute, The Mikado and this year’s Scalia/Ginsburg.
Don’t blame her; theater was in the family. Liz Merriman’s grandfather painted sets. Her grandmother helped with the painting and did props too. Liz’s father and sisters were all actors and her mother did costumes.
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