Arts & Culture

UK Dance to Present ‘Once Vacant: Bodies in Motion … Still’

photo of TV slide for "Once Vacant: Bodies in motion ... still"
UK Dance Program will present "Once Vacant: Bodies in motion ... still" Oct. 17, in UK's Orange Lot.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 3, 2020) The University of Kentucky Department of Theatre and Dance students cannot take the traditional stage with a live audience, but that is not stopping them from creating and performing. UK dance students will pivot to a new venue and present “Once Vacant: Bodies in motion still” Oct. 17 at a location more conducive to safety guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic — a parking lot.

“Once Vacant” will reimagine a public space while literally and physically illuminating the vital role that dance can play in advancing political, social and cultural discussions. Choreographers and UK faculty members Susie Thiel, Stephanie Harris and Theresa Bautista centered the dance around the questions, what does the body mean in spaces and places, how can we excavate our feelings through Covid-19, and how can entropy lead to liberation?

Dancers will present “Once Vacant” twice at the Orange Lot located at Kroger Field, while the audience will maintain physical distance surrounding the performers from the safety of their cars. Performances will begin 8 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.

Tickets are $15 per car. One ticket admits one vehicle. Proceeds from “Once Vacant” ticket sales will benefit Big Blue Pantry. To purchase tickets to “Once Vacant,” contact the Singletary Center for the Arts ticket office by phone at 859-257-4929 or visit online at

The Department of Theatre and Dance, part of UK College of Fine Arts, is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Theatre. Students in the department get hands-on training and one-on-one mentorship from professional theatre and dance faculty and renowned guest artists in acting, directing, playwriting, theatrical design and technology, and dance. From mainstage productions to student-produced shows, students have plenty of opportunities to participate on stage or backstage. Special programs include a musical theatre certificate, education abroad, as well as a thriving dance program that emphasizes technique, composition, performance and production.

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.