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.

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.