Delightful dancing with the stars

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By MARGOT HANNIGAN

Catch a Falling Star Wakatu Dance Theatre, Theatre Royal, July 31,

REVIEW: Imagine organising quick changes of costume for all different styles of dance – from classical tutus to jazzy off-the-shoulder to glittering starlets – for more than 100 youngsters, ranging in age from 5 years to late teens. Let alone teaching them to move acrobatically and gracefully, and be ready to perform at any moment in perfect time, to carousel and pirouette and levitate from the floor, and truly express themselves.

This show was a delightful inspiration and a credit to Peta Spooner and her team of helpers, dedicated to presenting a show that every young participant would enjoy. That was the lasting impression – that everyone truly loved the performance and did it with confident pride.

There were special moments when some of the youngest dancers were reluctant to leave the stage, and lingered happily until an older person pulled them into the wings.

I marvelled at the simple backdrop of stars and the effective coloured stage lighting to highlight the action.

There were so many songs with the theme of night sky and stars, and each stirred the imagination and provided lyrics that will be memorised forever.

The choreography was inventively different throughout. There were some pieces of classical ballet – a young group of swans dancing to Tchaikovsky, items cleverly choreographed to Mozart’s Eine kleine Nachtmusik and Berlioz’s March to the Stars. Even Star Wars was used with two groups in black and white tutus. There were effective pieces of jazz ballet and modern dance too.

The 100-plus cast included two boys. It was remarkable that ginger-haired Seth had a conspicuous role in 70 per cent of the show. Peta’s explanation was that this 13-year-old from Westport was living at her house and had to be part of every rehearsal.

Such energy, commitment and co-ordination, and she has been teaching dance in Nelson for over 30 years.

It was a night to remember and every young person involved was truly a star. The show will be repeated tonight and tomorrow at 7pm.

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