Breaking Down the Dance in ‘dance, deconstructed’ Performance

The Department of Theatre and Dance at the College of Charleston School of the Arts is pleased to present dance, deconstructed Oct. 25-Nov. 1, 2020. This video-on-demand presentation includes a mixture of traditional dances filmed at the Sottile Theatre with works that were specifically developed as dance-on-camera films. 

Artistic Director and faculty member Gretchen McLaine recognizes the unique challenges of creating dance during a pandemic, and it was precisely these challenges that served as the concert’s inspiration. “All of us were forced to re-examine how we view, create, and perform dance. Our current limitations pushed everyone to create works that may not have otherwise been conceived under normal circumstances,” says McLaine. While some dances understandably tap into the emotional turmoil and an increasing sense of isolation that this pandemic has created, others are inspired by literary works or in finding new means of communication and expression. New York City tap dance artist Nicole Ohr is a guest collaborator who is investigating conversations through rhythms with faculty member Kristin Alexander. This piece features students from other college dance programs alongside College of Charleston dancers. Two student pieces from the 2020 spring concert are also being revisited; Julia Kabernagel and Madison Patterson have re-imagined their dances to reflect the new realities facing dancers performing during a pandemic. 

The concert will run on video-on-demand starting at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, October 25 and available through November 1. Tickets for dance, deconstructed are $18 for a group of three or more, $8 for adults, seniors and military, $5 for 18 and under and for College of Charleston faculty, staff and students. Tickets can be purchased at, by emailing, or by calling (843) 953-6306.


During this challenging time for the arts community the Department of Theatre and Dance continues its season theme, THE SHOW MUST GO ON, with fall productions: Sophocles’ “Antigone” adapted by Emily Mann, and student monologues “Our World: Student Voices on 2020.” Production details are listed and updated at

The major in Dance at the College of Charleston combines the study of dance technique in three disciplines – ballet, modern and jazz – with a grounding in the breadth of dance as a field. Students have opportunities to perform in the Department of Theatre and Dance production season, at state-wide conferences, and at regional conferences such as the American College Dance Association.  Students can also choose to pursue a minor in Dance. More information is available at

The Show Must Go On

Dear Department of Theatre and Dance Patrons,


Each summer we are excited to share our upcoming season schedule with you, but, as you know, this is not a typical summer, nor will we have a typical season. In place of a brochure of planned productions, we are giving you an insider’s update and asking for your support. 


Currently, our dedicated faculty and staff are recrafting classes and a production schedule that will allow flexibility, ensure the health and safety of our students and safeguard the hands-on, learning opportunities that are essential to our program. More importantly, we are actively focusing on diversity, equity, inclusion and access in all areas of our Department (details at 


Student-centered, experiential learning is a hallmark of our Department and one we cannot sacrifice. We are acquiring new technology and the skills to use it so we can broadcast performances online in ways that do not violate production licenses. The current situation provides a real-life opportunity for our students to practice adaptability — a core skill taught in our programs.


We are navigating a complicated, unpredictable terrain, but, as the old saying goes, the show must go on. Through the end of December, if not longer, the show will go on without a live, in-person audience. This creates another puzzle to solve as our budget is funded in large part by season ticket subscriptions and individual ticket sales. 


To preserve the student experience, we are asking you to make a tax-deductible contribution in the amount that you would typically spend on tickets, season subscriptions and/or your usual donation. Your support will fund our set construction, lighting, sound, costumes, essential equipment for filming/recording/streaming performances, and more. It will keep our student shop assistants employed in our shops, where they learn invaluable skills to prepare them for their careers in the arts.


I write this with full knowledge of the difficult economic circumstances facing our country and many of our alumni and friends. I recognize and respect that not all may be in a position to help at this time, but if you are able to, I hope this letter offers you an easy way to directly impact our students.  


Our planning for the fall is still evolving, but we will get there – together – one step at a time, sharing an even tighter bond when we emerge on the other side. I am so grateful that you are a part of our arts community and look forward to the days when we can gather together again in the theatre in support of our students.  


Yours sincerely, 

Janine McCabe, Chair