Pacific Dance Ensemble Leaps Ahead

While Pacific University students were scattered this spring by the spread of COVID-19, many campus events were canceled, including the popular spring concert by the Pacific Dance Ensemble. Yet the dancing went on.

Pacific Director of Dance Jennifer Camp, switching to virtual instruction, asked dancers to make videos of themselves performing aspects of choreography they’d learned.

This collection of works feature members of Pacific’s dance faculty, Jennifer Camp, Anita Mitchell, Mary Hunt, and James Healey


“I gave them creative tasks so they could explore performing them with their own voice and in any space and location of their choice,” she said. “I collected the videos and over the summer created the short films in the effort to keep our art moving forward and to honor our students', faculty, and guests' creative work.“

This collection of solos represent a work called Eye of the Storm, which Camp originally staged with students in 2009 and restaged this spring.


The videos serve not only as a video record of the students’ progress in executing the choreography taught by Camp, James Healey, Mary Hunt, Victoria Perez, Anita Mitchell, but also as a kind of time capsule of the early months of the pandemic, after in-person rehearsals were curtailed in March.

These solos represent a work called I Am Numb from the work of guest choreographer and Pacific alumna Victoria Perez ’19 and students who worked with her.


This fall, Pacific’s undergraduate students have the option of studying remotely or in-person — including with dance.

In the videos, dancers bow, swoop and spin gracefully in a variety of settings, from wooded glades and lake shores to the interiors of the houses where they lived. They were separated by circumstance, but united in the steps of their progression through their craft.

Thursday, Sept. 3, 2020