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‘Focus on Baroque Part II:’ A Glimpse into an Extravagant Era

SAN MARCOS–Palomar College’s Performing Arts will be showing its second installment of “Focus on Baroque.”

An extension of the first part of the series, it will include discussions and performances showcasing 17th- and 18th-Century Baroque era music, fashion and dance. The second part will also feature the Palomar Symphony Orchestra.

“Hopefully, we can show the magic and beauty of the Baroque era through music and dance and provide an hour of beauty and enthusiasm for all things Baroque for our audience,” said Dr. Molly Faulkner, Professor of Dance at Palomar College.

Faulkner’s love of Baroque music and dance inspired “Focus on Baroque.”

Faulkner, Professor of Music Dr. Ellen Weller and the Palomar Symphony Orchestra make up the Performing Arts Department.

“Working together is part of what makes Palomar Performing Arts so great, for our students, as a place to work, as a place to make art and for our audiences,” said Faulkner.

“Baroque is such a huge part of dance history and I am a dance historian [nerd],” she added. “I am happy our students have the opportunity to embody this rich history and with live and recorded music by our own symphony. It gives a real sense of context to ballet and contemporary dance forms.”

Weller and Faulkner began this collaboration last August and realized that they would not be able to teach on campus. Faulkner said the Baroque period had smaller musical ensembles that were easier to edit and for all the necessary post-production work in an online setting.

“I was fortunate to do several Baroque dance projects in school and take several Baroque dance workshops for professional development,” Faulkner said.

Costumers Jane Craig Jones and Chelsea Marsh built the period costumes for the Palomar Performing Arts.

“Remote concerts have sophisticated production elements with backgrounds, costumes, sound technology, lighting,” said Faulkner. She continued, “While it may be a Zoom concert, it’s a full Palomar Performing Arts production.”

The production staff includes five members who ensure the show goes on: Lorrena Harvey, Tony Cucuzzella, Carl Thompson, Tom Daily and Heather Murray.

For Faulkner, the most challenging part of the performance was the remote aspect. The dance choreography poses a challenge due to each of the students having a unique and mostly inadequate space in which to dance fully.

“There is also a latency to the music, meaning lag time,” said Faulkner. A problem that came to light was the students hearing the music differently due to variations in technology and internet speed making unison nearly impossible.

“We can get close but it’s nothing like being in the same space together,” said Faulkner.

Coordination of technology and backdrops were used during the production of “Focus on Baroque” part one, in addition to the use of green screens. For part two, Palomar Performing Arts is hoping to do that again.

They hope to have remote technology for a stage manager to control the dancers’ screens. Although the staff is waiting to confirm if this is a possibility, it will help dancers with the problem of turning on and off their own cameras.

“Focus on Baroque” will be shown at 2 p.m. on Dec. 13 via Zoom. Tickets and updated information can be found at www.palomarperforms.com or by calling or texting (760) 214-9109. Ticket prices start at $10.

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