G.S. Lakie taking dance production to Yates
G.S. Lakie Middle School’s Dance Program will present its rendition of the musical film “The Greatest Showman” on Wednesday at the Yates Memorial Theatre.
Kristi Legge, dance teacher and artistic director of G.S. Lakie Fusion dance program, has been planning the production since last summer, with rehearsals that started in September. There will be six time slots for the Wednesday production.
The production is infused with their own dance numbers and a variety of other music. Their Fusion dance program consists of all kinds of dance such as hip-hop, ballet, contemporary and tap.
The musical is inspired by the story of P.T. Barnum’s creation of the Barnum & Bailey Circus, and the lives of its star attractions.
Roughly 200 students will be participating in the production. It is unique for the students because it requires them to have their own interpretation of the piece.
“I loved the message that the show gave,” said Legge. “I felt like it was inspiring for middle school kids, to be proud of who they are and not feel like they have to be like everyone else to fit in.”
Legge adds it’s been rewarding for her to see the students’ reaction once they get to the Yates for rehearsals, which they’ve been doing since Friday.
“It’s very rewarding because of their hard work, build-up, repetition and trying to make sure they’re confident with the choreography.”
It has also been enjoyable for Legge to see how excited the students get and to see their self-esteem grow.
“Probably 80 per cent of the kids I’ve worked with have never danced professionally in a show before,” said Legge. “It’s really neat to see how rewarding that is for them, to see their selfesteem grow, and get more confidence performing live, especially in front of their peers.”
Twin Grade 7 students Max and Sol Brewerton have enjoyed being part of the production and the message of individuality the story follows.
“We want people to feel proud of who they are, and not feel like they have to stand in the shadows,” said Max.
Sol adds that “We want students to know that it’s OK to be different.”
A combination of music from the film and some original numbers from Lakie will be incorporated into the show.
Guest dance teachers were brought in for the show from Gadflay, an urban dance company from Toronto, to choreograph a piece from one of their professional shows that toured in Canada and New York.
St. Patrick Fine Arts Elementary School choir will lend their voices for the film’s song “A Million Dreams.”
The title of the production “This Is Me” is also a song from the film which won a Golden Globe for Best Original Song.
Grade 7 student Tristan Bissett plays the main character in the show and finds it interesting to be front and centre, along with his own tap solo performance. Bissett plays Hugh Jackman’s character, P.T. Barnum, the founder of the Barnum Circus.
Bissett said “The Greatest Showman” is one of those productions where you can use your own emotion, and put it into the show whereas, if it’s a musical then you’re playing a specific character. He feels if it’s a live show you can be yourself.
“It’s a show that brings together a group of, what would be considered strange individuals, into a show and it kind of expresses themselves and shows their true talents instead of being just another face in the crowd,” he said.
For showtimes and tickets call the Yates at (403) 329-SEAT or contact Cathy Widmer at email@example.com.
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