The Moore Theatre was vibrant, warm, and alive with upbeat pop music on Friday night, November 8, as Seattle Theatre Group presented their Global Dance Party. Produced by Sarah Loritz, the Global Dance Party celebrated young performers across genres and styles of dance—from traditional to modern, and ballroom to breakdancing. Global Dance Party united audiences and entertainers in an inspiring evening of performance that was bright, joyful, and effervescent.
The Shumba Youth Marimba Ensemble launched the Global Dance Party with music as colorful and spirited as the six young musicians. Led by director Sheree Seretse, the vividly-clad teenagers grinned ear to ear, pounding their instruments and cheering each other on. The infectious sounds of the up-beat African marimbas had the performers and audience clapping unreservedly as several children rose from their seats and danced freely in the aisles. These talented teenage musicians set the stage for a night that continued to invigorate.
The wickedly talented Alex Jackson took over downstage in white pants and black tap shoes, making full use of the centerstage mic with his rapid, accurate tap solo. Jackson executed a dizzying, steady stream of complicated footwork, releasing into easy à la seconde turns and tapping right back into the floor without missing a beat. Though he never strayed far from the front area of the stage, Jackson kept his routine dynamic with control, extension, and personality—and ended with impressive acrobatic flair.
The Vicious Puppies Crew (V.P.C.) raised the stakes of the Global Dance Party with their on-stage dance battle in Cypherparty and What’s the Flavor? Beginning with four solos in Cypherparty, the crew employed progressively faster and more intricate choreography in a central spotlight. In their second set, the entire eight-man crew performed astounding flips, freezes, and footwork with control and confidence. While some timing was tentative, V.P.C. performed as one to the rapid dynamic musical shifts, and created an impressive and absorbing dance battle.
The Radost Folk Ensemble slowed the show’s tempo with their pleasant and traditional Slavic folkdance performances to Krivo Horo and Taverna Syrtaki. Dressed in bold red cummerbunds and multicolored gowns, the men and women linked arms in repetitive footwork that perhaps went on a little too long for such a fast-paced show.
Seattle Theatre Group and Velocity Dance Center’s Seattle Youth Dance Collective (SYDC) brought a darker emotional depth to the show with contemporary dance to the powerful classical score of Ludovico Einaudi in Collective. Though directed by Maya Soto, the crisp, stirring choreography was all student-generated. The five dancers stayed in a tight V-formation, moving together in closely bound and repetitive breaks and isolations. As the dancers broke into small solo excursions across the stage, they showed clean and confident ability and control. Collective was involving and interesting, and told a clear story of release from monotony as the dancers removed restrictive jackets and moved with more abandon as the score ended.
Eighteen young ballroom dancers comprise the Junior Pacific Ballroom Dance group, who performed a crisp Cha Cha called Bottom of the Ninth. Directed by Christine France, these teens took a classically kitschy “take me out to the ballgame” theme and created a fresh, vivacious number with tight technique and precise spacing. Both the male and female dancers were fun, sharp, and accomplished in both partnering and footwork. While facial expressions were a bit incongruous at times, the young dancers acted their roles exuberantly and created a boisterous, cheerful piece of accomplished ballroom dance.
Closing and absolutely stealing the show were fourteen adorable and ferocious young ladies in M.I.A. Misses in Action, directed by Daniel Cruz. These ladies popped onstage in electric outfits with matching personalities, and performed their sassy hip hop number with power, style, and class. With bright leggings, bicycles, and fierce music, this group of talented girls filled the theatre with attitude. Cruz’s choreography exulted in these strong and spunky dancers—from body isolation to tutting to flourishes of the hair and wrists.
STG’s Global Dance Party pulled all of the performers together in an ecstatic finale by Daniel Cruz and Global Dance Party Group Leaders. All of the dancers took the stage together in tribute to each individual style, showing the diversity of these young performers and bringing a satisfying conclusion to a widely varied show. Leaving the audience with beaming smiles and tapping feet, Global Dance Party was an inspiring production of young talent and style across the world of dance. Many of these performers can be seen in future STG productions, at http://www.stgpresents.org/education/calendar.