Stage set for feast of dance

Academy ready for ‘El­e­ments of Dance’

The Herald (South Africa) - - ARTS FUN & GAMES -

ELLEN Bunting may have hung up her tap shoes and re­tired, but Port El­iz­a­beth’s Ellen Bunting Dance Academy is jiv­ing into the fu­ture un­der the di­rec­tion of new prin­ci­pal Si­mone Buch­ner, whose show El­e­ments of Dance opens at the PE Opera House this week.

Di­rec­tor and pro­ducer Buch­ner has in­cor­po­rated a wide range of dis­ci­plines in the academy’s show El­e­ments of Dance, rang­ing from mod­ern and tap all the way through to lyri­cal and Broad­way jazz.

She says it will fea­ture a kalei­do­scope of num­bers with tap-danc­ing chil­dren to Broad­way jazz and even a Greek-in­spired twist to a tap num­ber.

El­e­ments of Dance will be at the Opera House this Fri­day and Satur­day at 7.30pm, with a mati­nee on Satur­day at 2.30pm.

“Go­ing into this show, I knew I had huge shoes to fill as Ellen staged many bril­liant pro­duc­tions in Port El­iz­a­beth and was a house­hold name for close on 30 years,” said Buch­ner of the for­mer stu­dio owner.

“I owe so much to her. She’s been my teacher, my con­fi­dant and an un­wa­ver­ing pil­lar of sup­port in every as­pect of my life and dance ca­reer.”

Buch­ner said the colour­ful cos­tumes were cho­sen to match the dance pieces.

“Jail­house Rock for ex­am­ple, which is a ju­nior mod­ern num­ber, has dancers wear­ing pris­oner out­fits with a lit­tle some­thing ex­tra that makes the num­ber such fun!

“My favourite costume in the show is worn by my ju­nior tap­pers in On Broad­way. This costume with its cute bowtie, sparkly hat and feath­ers, as well as the dance, I’m sure will be en­joyed by the au­di­ence.”

In ad­di­tion to the ju­niors, Buch­ner also has a group of 10 “se­nior” tap dancers aged between 17 and 78 who will be per­form­ing a five-minute num­ber.

There are also three sets of moms and daugh­ters in the show, as well as a mom and son. Kim Scrib­ante and her daugh­ter Si­enna, for ex­am­ple, will per­form a tap duet to Meghan Train­ors’s Mom, chore­ographed by Kim.

Ari­ana Pat­sa­los, last year’s Port El­iz­a­beth Dance Fes­ti­val (PEDF) Se­nior Tap Cham­pi­onship win­ner, will per­form one of her cham­pi­onship so­los You Can't Touch This, as well as her new solo Fiercely Tap.

The show is 90 min­utes long and tick­ets are R120 a per­son, at Com­puticket.

TOE-TAP­PERS: Si­mone Buch­ner, back, di­rects, front, from left, Han­nah Fer­reira, Cayla Truter and Chan­nae Erens in ‘El­e­ments of Dance’

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