A dance competition started by three South Americans is moving audiences globally.
Th [at] '@stayhomedancecompetition' gives dancers around the world a virtual stage to share their interpretation of the pandemic through movement -- in what is an industry badly impacted by social distancing measures.
Co-organizer Facundo Luqui of Argentina's iconic Teatro Colón says anyone can enter the competition and videos are professionally judged and voted on by the number of likes. The competition pays homage to dancers amid difficult times and raises awareness about the coronavirus.
''We realized there is a need to express oneself and be seen with only a video on social media, so that a lot of people can see it. We were struck by the desire of participants to be seen, to express themselves and their dance, what is happening to them at the moment.''
Manuela Lavalle, who normally dances in a company in the United States but is quarantining in her native Buenos Aires, says the competition shows how agile the dance world can be.
''I think dance at the moment is undergoing a great crisis. The good thing is that dancers come together and create things like 'Stay Home Dance Competition' or we take virtual classes by Zoom or exercises. It's complicated because many dance companies do not have the money they need to get by. I believe the world of dance is going to change a lot and we still do not know how, but it is a matter of waiting and continuing to create in the meantime."
18-year-old of Paraguay Giovana Soria says her dance is a warning that, without social distancing or mask wearing, you can still become infected with the coronavirus.
The competition has attracted hundreds of applicants from Argentina and Brazil to Israel and Italy.
The top prize is $150 and a feature on the competition's Instagram account, but the biggest prize of all for 11-year-old Paz Schattenhofer is the opportunity to be back on the 'stage' -- even if virtually.