Purr-fect ve­hi­cle for top chore­og­ra­pher

The Tribune (NZ) - - ENJOY! -

or chore­og­ra­pher Teesh Sz­abo, CATS is the ul­ti­mate dance show. Teesh has been work­ing the prin­ci­pals and en­sem­ble for the last few weeks, turn­ing them purrr-fectly into grace­ful and slinky cats for Abbey Mu­si­cal The­atre’s pro­duc­tion at the Re­gent on Broad­way from Au­gust 12 to 27.

Teesh, an Auck­land-based chore­og­ra­pher, dance ed­u­ca­tor and ac­tor, is herself a puss with a purr­puss.

CATS is hugely chal­leng­ing be­cause the cast dance as well as sing and act through­out the show with very lit­tle time off stage and have to demon­strate a level of fit­ness, agility and en­ergy that the All Blacks would ad­mire.

‘‘ CATS is ev­ery dancer’s dream show as it chal­lenges and pulls on their tra­di­tional dance training as well as voice and act­ing abil­ity,’’ she says.

Teesh has worked in ma­jor shows in Lon­don’s West End and shared the Lon­don Pal­la­dium stage with such dance and the­atre greats as Chita Rivera, Tommy Tune, Cyd Charisse and Russ Tam­blyn but, when Abbey Mu­si­cal The­atre (AMT) ap­proached her to chore­o­graph CATS, she didn’t hes­i­tate to ‘‘jump at the chance.’’

She had al­ready taken dance to a new level of pre­ci­sion and per­for­mance when she chore­ographed MAMMA MIA! for AMT last year.

‘‘The beauty of CATS com­pared to many oth­ers is that there’s no di­vide be­tween leads and en­sem­ble which can be quite ob­vi­ous in many shows. Ev­ery per­former has a char­ac­ter name and, as an au­di­ence mem­ber, you’ll find your­self com­ing away with a favourite.’’

Teesh be­lieves CATS is a much loved and ageless show and is not sub­ject to the period when it was first written by An­drew Lloyd Web­ber. But CATS is more than a spec­tac­u­lar dance show. It’s based on T S Eliot’s Old Pos­sum’s Book of Prac­ti­cal Cats. On a par­tic­u­lar night a tribe of cats, the Jel­li­cles, de­cide which cat will as­cend to the Heav­i­side Layer and re­turn in a new life.

That’s the story that Teesh and the mu­si­cal’s co-di­rec­tors are com­mit­ted to telling.

AMT’s CATS, co-di­rected by Barry Jones and Gil­lian Col­lett and chore­ographed by Teesh Sz­abo Re­gent on Broad­way, Au­gust 12-27. Book­ings: Ticket Di­rect 0800-224-224 or con­tact www.tick­etdirect.co.nz

CATS dancers demon­strate a move­ment for chore­og­ra­pher Teesh Sz­abo, kneel­ing, far right.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.