GREEN MOUNTAIN FALLS â¢ Vibrant and electric, dance performances by Antonina Skobina and Denys Drozdyuk have drawn audiences from all over the world.
After a year spent experiencing various forms of confinement at their home in Manhattan and a limited number of performances, the two are renewing their creativity in Green Mountain Falls.
âThe first thing we noticed after arriving here was the calm. Hearing the cries of crickets and birds … It’s beautiful, âsaid Skobina.
Artists in Residence for the 2021 Green Box Arts Festival, Dance Partners (and Married Partners) spend a month choreographing from the upper level of Church in the Wildwood.
âThis place is very stimulating for us. We feel safe here, and at the same time inspired and creative, âsaid Skobina. âThere is so much space and it is also very spiritual. We just take all of that into account and put it into our new job. “
Known as the DNA ballroom dancers, the two have only performed a few times over the past year – once at the Belgrade Dance Festival in Serbia and another time in Houston.
For most of the year, however, they relied on Zoom to practice and teach at home when their dance studio temporarily closed due to the pandemic. âWe didn’t leave our apartment for a month – we tried to stay in shape,â Skobina said.
Teaching and preparing for classes motivated them to continue, she said. “Even though it was on Zoom, it was better than nothing.”
Still, the format underscored the value of live performances while exacerbating the emotional and physical traps of staying behind closed doors. âThe lockdowns have taught us that video is not the same as watching live performances and feeling that special energy of the artists,â Skobina said. “The artist’s mission is to give people emotion, to transport them to a different world.”
For the couple whose ballroom performances are dazzling, a video audience passively participates in the art. âWatching a video does not require any energy,â said Drozdyuk. âWhen you go to a social environment, you have to give your energy, to interact with people. And it’s a whole different feeling than just sitting at home and entertaining.
In Green Mountain Falls, the residency is an interlude, a moment of gratitude to the founders of the festival, Larry Keigwin and Chris Keesee. âThe program gives us validity and confidence and makes us feel that what we do is important, that it matters,â said Drozdyuk. âBecause we are supported and we don’t feel alone in the creation process. “
Keigwin’s dance group, Keigwin + Company, established the first residence at Church in the Wildwood 12 years ago. âLarry knows this firsthand because he’s a great choreographer and I think his understanding of what dancers go through is an important part of creating the residency,â Skobina said. âThe creative process is physically and spiritually demanding.
The couple’s residence is a far cry from the hustle and bustle of New York City life. âAs artists we absorb everything, the air we breathe, the nature we see, the sounds, the energy, the place, all of this influences our work,â she said. “And now when we create a new work, the energy of Green Mountain Falls will be there forever.”
To see DNA perform on Tina Turner’s âProud Maryâ in NBC’s âWorld of Danceâ, visit youtu.be/v3QxYktaxyc, and for their dance on Carl Orff’s âO Fortunaâ, visit youtu.be/djVGKqKe3yA .
They are only at Green Mountain Falls for a month in the spring.