Dani Maloney ’17 (Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance) released “Contain,” her first large-scale Center for Disease Control-compliant project for her dance ensemble Dani Maloney Dance Company. The project provided work for 10 dancers, some of whom also are Shenandoah graduates. Christina Halpin Chair in Dance, Chair of Dance Division and Associate Professor of Dance Maurice Fraga, M.F.A., offered artistic guidance throughout the production.
“Contain,” a 30-minute work inspired by the events of the pandemic, premiered on Jan. 15. The piece is available for viewing on YouTube to allow as many people as possible to have access to dance as art. Maloney’s mission is to make the arts more accessible and to reach a wide variety of people.
“The conception and development of ‘Contain’ was heavily influenced by the mask mandate,” said Maloney. “I didn’t want audience members to have to try and look past the masks: I had to use the masks to confront the reality that we’re living in. COVID-19 has impacted the human race as an entirety, and my goal was to create a cathartic experience that could connect viewers to each other and to the piece. We must acknowledge what has happened and is happening in order to move forward both artistically and with our everyday lives.”
Maloney served as both the director and choreographer for the project. Courtney Friedersdorf ’18, (Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance) was one of the featured dancers in the project. Natalie D’Angelo ’20 (Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance) is part of the Dani Maloney Dance Company as well, but did not participate in “Contain.”
Maloney worked throughout the year amidst the pandemic to fundraise and establish her business in hopes of giving dancers meaningful, safe work again and to pay them a fair wage, especially since the pandemic has been devastating for arts workers around the globe.
Her dance company was established as a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization in 2020.
Since graduating from Shenandoah, Maloney has also performed with touring companies in Los Angeles and Las Vegas.
Donations are being accepted to support the organization in “hopes of creating more job opportunities for artists and to bring arts back into the barren landscape to which the pandemic has given rise,” says Maloney.
Visit www.danimaloneydance.com to learn more.