Dancers, choreographers, studio owners, teachers and creative staff are feeling pretty heartbroken right about now. With the crisis of COVID-19, performances have been canceled, studios have been closed, there is no end in near sight, and everyone just wants to dance together again. Three Australian creatives – Zoee Marsh, Cat Santos and Caetlyn Watson – have come together to create Home Feed, an initiative to keep the dance community connected using the resources at hand.
Home Feed is a YouTube channel that, on Friday, 27 March, at 7pm, will bring viewers into the homes of Australian acts and artists, who will share how they are managing, coping and responding during this overwhelming time and how they are staying connected to themselves and one another in this time through beauty and movement.
“The dance community is hugely based around physical contact and interaction,” Marsh tells Dance Informa. “It’s what we do, it’s how we are wired. We feed off one another’s energy in studio spaces, theatres, film shoots, and now that our art community has taken a huge hit socially, emotionally and financially due to the current COVID-19 crisis, it is important that we give our community an outlet to continue creating and sharing with one another. Home Feed offers a platform where you can ‘literally’ peek into the homes of other artists and see how they are managing, coping and responding to this time. This not only offers us some comfort and community strength during this overwhelming time, but the creativity shared keeps all involved, inspired and motivated to persevere after this time subsides. We can not let this isolation and social distancing take away from our bond as one big artistic family. Artists are problem solvers, and we are so excited to bring Home Feed to the lounge rooms of many to show how innovation and creativity can maneuver itself through this crisis.”
Marsh, Santos and Watson say they strongly believe it is crucial to keep our industries and communities growing, connected and inspired so that once this crisis is over, everyone will come out on the other side stronger. They are accepting donations (as little or big) to help raise funds to share the profits with all the artists involved, who are all losing huge amounts of income due to COVID-19.
Having a project like Home Feed is also keeping Marsh, Santos, Watson and likely other artists focussed and inspired during this time.
“Working on things like this with my friends is keeping my mind from spiralling into a pit of existential dread!” Santos shares. “When we focus on what serves us as a whole, it’s only natural that it feeds us as an individual. This is keeping the mind clear and the heart full! I’ve also been connecting with my network of dancers and having regular Zoom meetings and sharing new recipes that are healthy and yummy.”
Watson adds, “I’m lucky to have a beautiful foundation of family and friends whom I always stay connected to, and a majority of them are spread all over the world. If anything, this ‘isolation’ is giving me time to reach out to people more. This time at home is also forcing me to cook more and put a little more effort into the food I am eating. I am trying to watch and do things that stimulate my mind in a healthy way but also taking the time to let my body rest.”
“I honestly had a massive freak out about this last week, and since coming out the other side, I am feeling more on fire than ever,” Marsh states. “This time is forcing me to look at things with a completely new perspective, and my creativity is going wild; the possibilities are endless! I am making sure I try something new, find stillness and check in with friends every day. Working on Home Feed is such a testament to how collaborations and creativity are possible in every situation!”
The lineup, or ‘set list’, for Home Feed is:
7pm: Cat Santos
7:10pm: The O’Neill Twins
7:20pm: Lucy Doherty/Rob McLean
7:30pm: Amy Zhang/Jackson Garcia
7:40pm: Oriana Siewkim
7:50pm: James Barry
8pm: Callum Mooney
8:10pm: Talia Kuo/Matthew Gode/Kieran Crowe
8:20pm: Lanie De Castro/Daisuke Benson
8:30pm: Zoee Marsh
8:40pm: Neven Connolly/Cass Merwood
8:50pm: Jayden Wall/Melissa Pham
9pm: Jarryd Byrne/Kyla B
9:10pm: Fetu Taku
9:30pm: Ella Burns/Sam B
9:40pm: Tiana Canterbury + Family
9:50pm: Sela Vai
10pm: Hena Memishi/Joshkun
10:10pm: Lydia Kivela/Tee Vella
10:20pm: Colette Eagle/Laurence Kaiwai/Ngavaine Tearea
10:30pm: Neale/Amy Whittaker
10:40pm: Caetlyn Watson/Dave McLean
“We are so excited to see what our lineup creates and how they utilize their space,” Marsh says. “We have given each act complete creative freedom with only two guidelines: to create in your home and to create to Aussie music; the rest is up to them. We are lucky to have many new collaborations on our lineup, as so many creatives live together and are therefore isolating together. We all agree that this lineup is going to bring new and interesting ways to use and activate spaces that we use on a day-to-day basis.”
When asked if there would be future events like this, Marsh says, “Absolutely! We believe this project chose us to bring it to life, and we can feel the wheels in motion for another series already! We would love to see this reach new communities, cities and countries all over the world, as we all have a worldwide network of dancers and artists that could be involved. The exciting part about this movement is that it can run regardless of COVID-19 and location. We’re hoping to get enough attraction and support to have it happening at least once a fortnight!”
Donations are being accepted at www.pozible.com/project/home-feed-or-series-1. Even an amount as little as $1 would be greatly appreciated.
Subscribe now to the Home Feed YouTube channel, and be sure to tune in this Friday, 27 March, at 7pm!
Follow Home Feed on Instagram: @_homefeed.