Further north, the Williamstown Theater Festival in Williamstown, Massachusetts is also hosting its first full outdoor season on found stages this year, including the Clark Art Institute’s reflective pool, which stars Grace McLean on “Row”. The musical lost nearly 60 percent of its outdoor rehearsal time due to the weather, and six of the first seven scheduled performances were canceled. “It was just disappointing and frustrating because we weren’t doing our job,” she said.

The sky was dreary, gray and damp on the day before “Tillers of the Soil” – Weinert’s adaptation of a dance originally choreographed by Ted Shawn and Ruth St. Denis in 1916 – premiered in Jacob’s Garden. The dancers spread straw on the soft, wet floor before the performance, but their feet still got muddy and soaked as they danced. “We could still be in the moment in everything that was happening,” said Brandon Washington, a dancer. “In the end it was super sunny and beautiful.”

For dancers, weather, especially rain, means being ready to be frustrated – or ready to move on to the show in difficult circumstances. On July 3 in Little Island, a new park on the Hudson River in Manhattan, Hee Seo, a director of the American Ballet Theater, didn’t know until the show whether her solo “Dying Swan” was going to happen. Even then, the rehearsal and show were delayed, and when Seo started dancing, she could feel raindrops. “But we didn’t stop,” she said. “I continued. I’ve finished my piece. “

Artists and audiences were hungry for performances, even if the cancellations are increasing. The Trisha Brown Dance Company canceled their performances on June 8th and 9th at Wave Hill in the Bronx due to rain. The director of the company, Carolyn Lucas, said the dancers rehearsed in the drizzle until they stopped working. “After this Covid year everyone is missing so much dancing and performing,” she said. “They were very flexible about doing something a little more extreme just to get the show out on the streets.”

It is unlikely that there will be another summer with this particular mix of circumstances. And at Jacob’s Pillow, they hope there doesn’t have to be another outdoor season. But always adaptable, dancers will continue to make the most of what is thrown at them. As Washington said of his performance in the garden, “With everything that happened in the run-up to the performance, the wet floor was the least of our worries.”