Dance at Oundle enjoyed its premiere on the stage of the Stahl Theatre last week with a gala programme of eighteen different performances. The rapturous response by the enthusiastic audience was a testament to how far dance has progressed under its patient development by Ms Rees.
The company of twenty-nine dancers have been taking dance as either a Sports option or an afternoon Elective. While some of the dancers have trained in contemporary and modern ballet, most began their training with very limited experience or were new to dance.
The choreography was led by Miss Crane and Mrs James, and the girls also had the opportunity to choreograph their own dances. Preparations for the show began in the Michaelmas Term, but the pupils in the Third Form Elective pulled one dance together after only one week, demonstrating how well they had learned to work together.
The youngest dancers were also the only boys in the show. Christian (Sco), Harrison (Sco), and Harry (Sco) strutted precocious street dance skills to “Men in Black”.
With so many dance numbers in the mix, there was plenty of variety. Traditional ballet was set to contemporary hits. Charlotte (Sn) and Amelie (L) danced to “Flowers” by Miley Cyrus, and Soraya (W) performed a solo to Andy Grammer’s “Don’t Give Up On Me”.
The Stahl stage could barely contain the Sixth Form troupe who performed nine different dances from jazz and R&B to hip hop and grime beats with style and verve. With only a few minutes between their numbers, the quick turnaround into different colourful costumes changes backstage was frenetic. But if anyone felt pressured by the pace, the only emotion they betrayed on stage was joy.