About The DLNW Project

Every one of us has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and we all have a story to tell. In early March, as the SF Bay Area became the first region in the USA to impose shelter-in-place orders, award-winning travel and performing arts photographer Kyle Adler experienced first-hand the unprecedented upheaval this situation forced upon local artists. As artists, we’re all having to find new ways to create while sheltering-in-place. Face-to-face classes, photoshoots, rehearsals, and performances are canceled. The new normal is taking or teaching online classes in solitude from our homes. Much of our revenue has disappeared but the bills must still be paid. And nobody knows how long this situation will persist. Whether we dance, act, perform music, make theater, or photograph for our living and/or our passion, life is very different these days.

Kyle launched the ongoing "Dance Like Nobody's Watching" Project to allow SF Bay Area dancers a new means to continue creating while adhering to the letter and the spirit of the shelter-in-place order. The artistic intent is twofold: 1) Document the innate persistent quality of the human creative spirit, even during difficult times; and 2) Demonstrate that while we may be physically isolated right now, we still constitute a strong interconnected creative community. Other project goals include: 1) Provide an artistic outlet for one photographer and several  dozen dancers to make some lasting art while quarantined; 2) Engage thousands of viewers through presenting a portfolio of striking images of dancers creating during extraordinary times; and 3) Generate revenue to be donated to local aid organizations helping the most vulnerable during the COVID-19 public health crisis.

The basic outline for this project is simple. Kyle is collaborating with dancers representing as many dance genres as possible, potentially including ballet, jazz, modern, contemporary, hip hop, aerial, pole, samba, Latin, salsa, Kathak, Bharatanatyam, belly dance, Thai classical dance, other folk dance styles from around the world, etc. Diversity among dance styles and dancers is key here. Professional and pre-professional dancers will have priority, but student and amateur dancers will also be included. Each dancer will propose a plan to perform briefly (~15 minutes) in or around their home in a location that Kyle  can photograph remotely. For example, the dancer may have access to a balcony, yard, garden, rooftop, or even a prominent door or window from which Kyle can capture their dance from a distance of six feet or further, without having to enter the home. Solo dancers will be the norm, but if two or more members of the same household are all dancers, they all may be included. Kyle is adhering to all rules of sheltering-in-place, which dramatically limits the locations and times of the "distance photoshoots". Participating dancers will neither receive payment nor be charged, and each will receive several finished high-resolution images at no cost, full credit in all channels where the project will be shared/published, and the possibility of benefiting from any publicity generated.

Kyle passionately believes this project will be an inspiration to other artists to continue creating right now as well as a way to document this bizarre chapter in our collective history. Any revenue generated by sales of the images during the COVID-19 quarantine will be donated to a local Bay Area not-for-profit organization to help those in most need right now. This project is a work-in-process, so please return often to see the new images as they are created.

Lena Alvino

Dancer: Léna Alvino