We Will Rise: Creating During Covid-19

We’re all experiencing the need to find hope and to maintain positivity during these uncertain times. MCB Soloist Samantha Hope Galler was inspired by the song Rise Up by Andra Day to create this video work and to stay connected to her fellow MCB dancers and the community while we are all so far apart.
We love watching the dancers perform for us with a beautiful message of positivity, and we hope you do too.

Featuring MCB dancers (in order of appearance) Samantha Hope GallerEmily BrombergAriel RoseJennifer Lauren, Itzkan BarbosaPetra Love.

Video by Samantha Galler.

Find Andra Day’s music on her website, Apple iTunes and Spotify.

Shared in the spirit of celebrating our dancers, creativity and finding the silver lining through difficult times. No copyright infringement intended.


Five Questions With Samantha Galler

MCB: Hi Sam. Hope you and your family are safe and healthy. Your video gave us goosebumps! And it made us so happy to see you and the others dancing. Tell us about your inspiration for creating this video work.

Samantha: I had decided to listen to music on my daily coronavirus walk last week.  I typically try to unplug during this time as my screen time has been running out lately. As I listened to my easy listening station, it inspired me to burst into movement. Rise Up by Andra Day came on, and it crossed my mind how exciting it would be to compile movements of MCB dancers in their respective locations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

I firmly believe that this is a time we will always remember in our lives, and in that thought I needed to record it through dancing. Putting a project together like this has always been a goal of mine and if it were not for this situation we are in right now, I probably would never have attempted this.

Once you had the idea, how did you put the piece together?

I decided to reach out to the MCB dancers to see who would want to volunteer for this project. Once I had the group together, I divided up the song and sent them each a section to focus on.  It inspired me to see what others would bring to the table.

I wanted to know how they were feeling right now, whether it be inside their homes or outside on an open street with complete freedom to move as they wish.  I wanted the rawness and reality element.

When I received all their footage, it was even more motivating. I just loved watching them move in their own way to music that sends a strong message. Interestingly enough, the motion of rising is portrayed similarly from all the dancers. All the movements you see in the video are improvised.

I spent three days determining a layout to showcase the footage in an exemplary way. Also, I broke down the song again to see what movements would really portray the words being expressed. I then put together each section of the song and spent hours editing it so that it would be queued to the song’s lyrics. A couple dancers had already incorporated visual effects into their footage to add another layer.

If you listen carefully, the first scene with Jennifer Lauren opening the curtain coincidentally has the tv on in the background and you hear the words; “If you have COVID-19.” I had to put that at the beginning.

Some dancers are in Miami, some are other places. Where is everyone?

Yes, most are in Miami, however others are in various parts of New York.

How are you spending your time during this quarantine period?

There is a lot of cooking, walking, and watching Mad Men on Netflix. I have spent hours reconnecting with people that I have not spoken to in many years.

Now that we are deep into the quarantine period, I have a weekly ballet teaching schedule in place with students that I have taught in the past. My former ballet teacher from Boston has directed her students to me which has been a great experience. I enjoy teaching and it keeps me busy for several hours. I am also working on furthering my education in dance and am taking weekly ballet and conditioning classes with MCB.

What do you most look forward to once this is over?

I miss the freedom of dancing. I also miss being around my work colleagues who all share the same passion. I most look forward to getting married, seeing my family, and being back onstage performing soon!

Thank you Sam. We can’t wait to see you back in the studios and on stage too! Much love and stay safe.