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Confinement Dance Photo Essay Series: Domesticity

Confinement Dance Photo Essay Series: Domesticity

by Christina Catanese

tD is pleased to share the first photo essay in our Confined Dancing Series! From this open call, we received quite a diversity of submissions of images and accompanying text-based reflections from artists in Philadelphia and beyond, and we were buoyed to see the variety of ways our community is moving in these strange, isolated times. Perhaps it should be no surprise that dancers have adapted to their new dance spaces with creativity, ingenuity, grace, and humor.

Many themes emerged from the submissions, with seemingly endless ways to curate groupings. Windows featured prominently in many shots, as did nudes (or the suggestion of nudity). Colors—bright and vibrant, or muted and intentional—caught our eyes. Many confined dances explored the myriad feelings arising from being quarantined, or devised adaptations to works that were in progress before the world locked down. Some explored anew the possibilities of various technologies in their practice, while others found new collaborators (distant dancers, objects, or the pets, plants, and people sharing in their quarantine space). Some dancers actually ventured outside, dancing in either public or private outdoor spaces.

This week’s photo essay focuses on themes of domesticity that have become front and center in this time we’re all spending at home. Home presents new settings for dancing, as well as new props. It can constrain movement, yet provides new possibilities. The ordinary becomes a creative spark. What do we have around us that could become part of a dance? While there is no sourdough-from-scratch dance in this series (yet), six movers explore motifs of domesticity this week.

Mehgan Rose Abdel-Moneim
April 9, 2020
Philadelphia, PA

GROCERY NEST is part of an ongoing “nesting” project I began since staying home. Instead of forcing my familiar dance practices into my compact environment, it feels more instinctive to collaborate with isolation and interact with what I have in new ways. I want to see my small space and limited possessions as resources for experimentation rather than hindrances.

https://mehganabdel-moneim.squarespace.com/ | Instagram: @mehgan_rose


Elizabeth Weinstein
April 26, 2020
Philadelphia, PA
Life Returns Here

I've been thinking about the spaces we move in while confined. What dances do I dance in the kitchen? In the bathtub? Pre-quarantine, I relied on swimming to make my body feel alive. Now, I have my bathtub. I've made several dance videos from the tub. This image is a compilation of images from a hot bath on a recent Sunday.



Jared de Uriarte
March 23, 2020
South Philadelphia, PA
Dance like nobody’s watching…because no one is!

In the age of covid-19, Fantasy Ballet is confined only by how many feather boas, microphone hairbrushes, and gaudy jewelry one has available at home. Blasting your favorite music and performing at home­­, full out with feeling for an imaginary sold-out crowd of adoring fans, of course, is nothing new for any dancer. What’s new is doing it all on Instagram Live and being able to share that intimate experience all together, which has felt like a real––fantasy.

Instagram: @fantasy_ballet


Miryam Coppersmith
April 19, 2020
South Philadelphia, PA

I've been trying to keep the collaborative flame alive during quarantine, jamming over Zoom, hosting virtual Shakespeare readings, and having distanced ArtDates. This photo came out of a spontaneous Saturday afternoon jam with my partner, Kenny Foner. I got the idea to play with our glass coffee table and that grew into a polished video piece, one of my favorite pieces I've made in a while.

www.miryamcoppersmith.com/artdates | Instagram: @mircopps


Chelsea Murphy
April 19, 2020
Philadelphia, PA

Photo of me upside down, pressed against the wall of my hallway in a child's pose. I like taking nude pictures of myself in surprising positions in mundane or domestic settings. This particular morning of quarantine I woke up with some impulsive inspiration and I followed it.


Lu Donovan
April 26, 2020
Philadelphia, PA
trying to set up for a nude

barely know anyone in the group chat, so resume copy catting like usual

www.ludonovan.com | Instagram: @from_lu_to_u

Photos courtesy of submitting artists unless otherwise noted.

How are you dancing in confinement? Get in touch at confined@thinkingdance.net
Since it looks like Philadelphia will be under the stay-home order through (at least) June 4, we will continue to receive submissions through May 30. Please consult the guidelines in the original call to submit your confined dance.

By Christina Catanese
May 14, 2020

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