BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — It may have been strange to see dancers in face masks a year ago but not anymore.
The Bakersfield City Ballet is putting on their second curbside show titled “Splendor and Misery,” an oxymoron representing the pandemic.
“I think there were some positives to the new routine that people were establishing,” said Artistic Director Erica Ueberroth. “That ‘you time’ that maybe you weren’t getting before because your schedule was so full.”
But also some negatives.
“It became pretty mundane and sometimes feeling, you know, you’re just locked in and can’t go anywhere and nothing exciting is happening. So just the two ends of the spectrum there,” said Erica.
Erica wanted to keep her dancers inspired, and she choreographed this show all on her own.
“It’s really exciting and fulfilling to still be able to do what we love to do because in times of crisis and difficult times, you still need to have an outlet,” said Erica. “For dancers, it is having the ability and option to perform and emote, you know, I think that’s our chosen form of communication.”
When you reserve a curbside performance, the dancers come to you. They perform in your driveway, cul de sac or parking lot, maintaining social distancing for everyone.
Erica said creating a show for both her dancers and their audience members is nothing short of rewarding.
“They were all just saying how much fun, and how much they loved being able to perform, and just being able to have that experience because it had been, I think, over a year since we had been in front of an audience, heard the applause,” said Erica.
In making dance possible during the pandemic, Erica said she’s seen her dancers connect with the community in a new way.
“Being invited to these personal spaces and being able to see our community and kind of connect in a much more intimate way than just being on stage was really thrilling,” she said.
And keeping dance alive for Kern County has helped Erica and her dancers process the pandemic.
“When you’re being creative, you know, you kind of pull from experiences you know or can relate to,” said Erica.
The show features eight company members ranging from ages 12 to 18 years old.
There are only a few shows left to reserve. Click here to get your ticket.
If you know someone who should be featured in Kern’s Kindness, email us your idea at [email protected]