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“Epic Tales from the Heart,” a choreographer’s perspective

With COVID-19 stopping many dance and art productions, Palomar College’s Contemporary Dance Ensemble is back and performed alongside Palomar Symphony Orchestra on Nov. 19 and 20 in the production, “Epic Tales from the Heart.”

In an interview via Zoom with choreographer Dr. Molly Faulkner, she talked about what if feels like to be back to live performances after being on Zoom for a long period of time.

“It’s pretty amazing actually, the dynamic of being in the same space as the students you can’t beat it, especially when you’re doing something so dynamic like dance” said Faulkner with excitement.

Although “Epic Tales from the Heart” is Faulkner’s first performance back, her dance students worked with Palomar College’s Comet Concert Band to bring to life the music concert “Thriller” back on Oct. 30.

In the interview, Faulkner talked about the process of putting a music concert together while having a “Hyflex” class meaning having some students attend class in person, while others attend on Zoom.

“My dancers who have been exposed but don’t get sick will just take class for two weeks online and then come back to face-to-face when they have a negative COVID result” said Faulkner

While trying to put this music concert together as a highly contagious virus goes around, some dancers have unfortunately had to abandon the concert due to exposure to the virus.

“We did have a student who got exposed to COVID, so she quarantined, but we didn’t have to quarantine, plus she had to miss the performance. We have another dancer who needs to get tested and missed today’s rehearsal, so she can’t be in the performance, so that was sad to see her go” said Faulkner.

After given permission to go back to in-person performance by Palomar officials, there are still multiple safety protocols that all musicians, directors, and performers have to follow, such as wearing masks at all time during the performance, and providing a negative COVID-19 test result.

“It is very different, but the work is insane, we rehearse, work hard, and they are ready to go, they are super excited about their performance, as am I” Faulkner said.

When asked what Faulkner’s expectations were for opening night, she said with excitement that she hopes her dancers have a good time and enjoy the story plot as well as the audience.

“Epic Tales from the Heart” will show their first performance on Friday, Nov. 19 and their second and last show will be on Saturday, Nov. 20 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. For more information about the play and purchasing tickets, click here.

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