Bonnie Haney Dance Show Gets an ‘A’ for Effort
Published: Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, October 31, 2012 15:10
It would simply not be fair to judge the Bonnie Haney Dance Company’s Halloween Dance Show like all the other dance performances out there. With such a wide age range among the performers, and the fact that this was mostly a children’s dance show, it is hard to know how to feel. The Oct. 28 performance at The Stage at Island Park was not lacking for entertainment, but it was not exactly riveting. Of the ten dances, two or three may resonate with the audience, but in all reality, this show was very forgettable.
One routine that might remain in the audience’s minds was NDSU freshman Matt Benjamin’s solo “Scarecrow.” Whipping and whirling around the stage, Benjamin lived up to the name of his performance. One of only a handful of male performers in a cast swimming with women and the like, Benjamin’s performance may be memorable just for that.
Six young girls performing “Jewelry Box Ballerinas” could perhaps claim the best dance of the day. Their movements were in time, very aesthetic and well coordinated; three traits that make or break a routine’s success. Dances that had all three of these produced the best results, while others simply fizzled out, and for one reason -- little children.
Several of the dances performed at the Halloween Dance Show involved young children, a proverbial kiss of death for any dance that involved synchronization. But one must remember that this is not a hugely serious production, and these are only children. In dances with teenage performers, it was entertaining to see the young dancers mimic their older counterparts’ movements. That being said, it would have been nice if the youngsters had some idea of what to do. But once again, these are children.
After the children showed what they knew (or did not know), the older performers took the stage. Of their performances, the Thriller dance was the most enthralling. They had a fairly adequate interpretation of the Michael Jackson hit, and including the entire cast in the latter half of the performance was a bright way to end it all. However, this was not the greatest performance of the afternoon, because, again, of that one reason: little children.
Besides the little kids generally taking away from the quality of the show, there were a few other aspects that distracted as well. The Stage at Island Park, as anyone familiar with it will know, has a rather cozy theater with brilliant acoustics. These acoustics, however, really brought out the sounds of the dancers’ feet, which wore on the ears after a while. Anytime someone jumped, kicked, or even brought down a toe, the entire theater would magnify the sound. Not good.
This was especially hurtful to the show upon realizing that the dancers’ music was not as loud as it should have been. Light music is a nice accompaniment to a dance performance. Music as soft as that which played at this show made for a bad combination when added with the magnified thuds of the dancers’ feet.
Altogether, the Bonnie Haney Dance Company’s Halloween Dance Show was not as clumsy and uncoordinated as it may sound. It truly was an entertaining way to pass an afternoon, and seeing young people of the community present the product of hard practice was a benefit for everyone involved.