MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The coronavirus pandemic brought entertainment to a screeching halt, and left artists searching for ways to showcase their creativity.
But Midtown couple Brandon and Virginia Ramey found a way to express their disappointment and hope, turning their bedroom into a mini dance studio.
The husband and wife perform with Ballet Memphis, but since the company closed, they’ve had to make do at home practicing and parenting at the same time.
“I’m trying to do that every day, even though it is challenging given our new environment,” Virginia Ramey said.
“Our new environment is now with Elle, she wants to just get tangled up in your feet every time you’re doing barre,” Brandon Ramey said.
The Rameys aren’t just practicing — they’re still performing, not on the stage but in their home, making short films.
They were set to dance together in Ballet Memphis’ “Cinderella” at the Orpheum this month. Instead, they debuted the character “Cindy” to the world via video.
Virginia plays Cinderella. Her Prince Charming is behind camera.
“Cindy is sort of a fictionalized mesh of Virginia and Cinderella. Cinderella doesn’t get to go to the ball. Virginia doesn’t get to perform as Cinderella. This fictionalized mesh doesn’t get to do either,” Brandon said.
Virginia said some people told her the video made them cry.
“It’s cathartic and I think it speaks to people’s, both their sense of disappointment, but also their sense of hope,” Brandon said.
They’ve made four short films since being self-quarantined — a good way to pass the time and give hope that a fairy tale ending even in this age of coronavirus is possible.
“It ends with her flipping through her calendar in a couple of months and writing down a new show date. She falls asleep dreaming about a future, how we’re all able to gather as a community at the theater one more time,” Brandon said.
Ballet Memphis is paying the Rameys through mid-May and the couple is thankful for that, but they realize the theater is losing a lot of money.
They’re hoping these short films help raise money and awareness.