MIDDLETOWN—The Orange County Arts Council celebrated National Dance Week on April 24 at the Paramount Theatre with an explosion of many styles of dance.
For the fourth consecutive year, the arts council invited schools, companies, choreographers, and dancers throughout the county “to inspire, to encourage, and to share the beautiful creative expression that is the art of dance,” as Dawn Ansbro wrote in the program.
About 15 dance studios and schools were represented. The Hudson Valley Conservatory’s “Jet Set” set to music of the 1940s gave a rousing start to the event.
Irish step dancing was well represented by the Kerry Dance studio with “Irish Step About” where four dancers in purple costumes with silver flounces flew across the stage in traditional Irish style.
New Generation Dance dancers moved to the song “Hotel California.” In a moving memorial to the Sandy Hook tragedy, the New York Dance Center dancers told a story from the children’s viewpoint. The incident lifted the sad incident to a higher level using dance as story.
Dancers of the American Youth Ballet beautifully demonstrated traditional ballet choreography as they held floral arches in the “Garland Waltz.”
Anthony Savino elicited a rousing audience response with his high energy tap dance to the Astaire classic “Puttin’ on the Ritz.”
The Newburgh Performing Arts Academy dancers moved in coordinated grace, in beautiful flowing costumes, to “Moonlight Sonata.” In a remembrance of the Holocaust, the Orange County Ballet Theatre danced the story of Anne Frank in “Excerpts from the Secret Annex.”
Dancers from the New York Dance Center performed the prologue from the musical, “West Side Story.” The choreography by Carolyn Ockert Haythe gave the Jets and Sharks a reality on stage and culminated the dance celebration with high energy and enthusiasm.
The evening represented diversity in its finest hour and a range of dancer styles that showed that dance is alive and well in Orange County. National Dance Week is celebrated from April 22 to May 1 around the country.
The National Dance Week Foundation on its website says the goal is “to expose and introduce as many people as possible to the enjoyment and benefits of dance thru promoting dance in schools, expanding community awareness, and increasing professional development.”
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