Over 500 dancers, ages 3–adult, from the Des Plaines School of Dance, will perform original pieces in the culminating event of their year-long study, "Red Carpet Ready: The School of Dance Goes Hollywood," June 14 and 15, in the Prairie Lakes Theater. Each day of the recital showcases an eclectic blend of jazz, tap, hip hop, ballet, lyrical, and modern numbers in three unique programs. "Red Carpet Ready" features music from movie soundtracks, Broadway blockbusters, and hit television shows, including "Good Morning" from Singin' in the Rain; a cover of "When Doves Cry" from Prince's movie soundtrack Purple Rain, "Higher Ground" from the movie Center Stage; "Crazy Dreams" from the TV show SMASH; a cover of "Oh What a Beautiful Morning" from Oklahoma; and "Gold" from the Broadway show Once.
The shows opens with "Hollywood," a theatrical jazz piece, full of glamour and old Hollywood style, choreographed by Laura Chiuve-Witter, for the Des Plaines Park District's in-house dance company, Artistry in Motion. Dancer Mathew Skorupski plays the part of a director, searching the forty-eight dancers to find his "star." The girls all vie for his attention, but ultimately starlet Sammy Kedziora catches his eye.
The traditional Pointe Production is Cinderella, choreographed by Cecilia Ferguson-Bell, to music composed by Sergei Prokofiev for the Moscow Symphony Orchestra. Senior, Georgina Genovese, dances the part of Cinderella, and Jackie Rentner will perform in a duet with Genovese, as her Fairy Godmother.
Other innovative dances include: "Who We Are" from the Hunger Games, a jazz piece performed by Artistry in Motion Company 2 and choreographed by Mary Williams; "Popcorn" performed by the Mini Modern 2 class and choreographed by Rachel Ratto; "When She Loved Me" performed by the Junior Ballet 1 class and choreographed by Chiuve-Witter;" Starstruck" performed and choreographed by the students in the choreography class under the guidance of Cecilia Ferguson-Bell; and "Say Something" also choreographed by Chiuve-Witter and performed by the School of Dance Helping Hands: dancers who volunteer their time in beginning level classes.
Back this year are the popular Dads' Dance and Senior's Dance. Ten fathers of Des Plaines School of Dance dancers will perform "Most Interesting Dads In the World," choreographed by Stacy Pareti Scala to a medley of four songs: "Dude Looks Like a Lady," "Another One Bites the Dust," "Rock Lobster," and "Work Work." "The dads are quite the showmen this year," said Scala. "Watch them rock lobster claws and air guitars." Graduating seniors, Elise Adams, Megan Bricks, Katie Gast, Genovese, and Taylor Haring will perform their final dance with the Park District: a contemporary jazz piece, called Beauty Queen, set to music by Lorde and choreographed by Ferguson-Bell.
The shows closes with a high-energy celebration of hip hop and contemporary movement choreographed for Artistry in Motion by Jaime Salas to "Counting Stars." The dance features graduating senior, Genovese, and expresses the joy of youth, talent, friendship, and camaraderie within the company, as the "Hollywood starlets" of the opening number become stars in their own right, "dreaming of the things they can be."
"The School of Dance prides itself in offering a dance program that embodies inspiration, artistry, technique, and performance. We are very fortunate to have to the best professional teaching staff in Des Plaines," said Nancy Suwalski, Cultural Arts Supervisor.
"Red Carpet Ready" at the Prairie Lakes Theater, 515 East Thacker Street, June 14 and 15 at 11:00am, 2:30pm, and 6:00pm. Tickets are available at the Leisure Center, 2222 Birch Street. General admission is $8. For more information about the show, summer dance classes, and Dance & Arts camps, call 847-391-5711 or visit www.DPParks.org.