Short, sweet and simply enchanting, Dance Bites gave viewers a variety show delivered with flair.
The hour-long production achieved the tricky balancing act of reflecting the styles taught at the Peak Performance Theatre School and engaging and entertaining its audience.
Tap. ballet, jazz and street dance lit up the Pomegranate Theatre in a fusion of movement and colour featuring impressive routines and eye-catching costumes.
The youngest performers in the show charmed their way into the hearts of the audience from the off with a sparkling version of Puttin’ on the Ritz, dressed in red and silver and wearing glittery top hats. Junior and senior tappers in black and silver costumes added polish to this opening number with their catchy choreography and obvious enjoyment at performing on a big stage.
The cutest routine of all came from the Mini Movers who had the aaah factor in spades as they arrived on stage in their pyjamas, cradling teddy bears. While they did their best to stick to a well-rehearsed routine interpreting The Bear Necessities, a couple of the youngsters couldn’t resist waving to loved ones in the audience. Their exit was as endearing as their entrance when they gave their teddy bears a piggy-back ride into the wings.
Pupils from the primary and grade 3 ballet classes gave an exquisite performance based on April Showers, a song from the Bambi film. The smaller dancers dressed in red and yellow macs interpretated raindrops falling before being encircled by older dancers in white sparkly dresses, which presumably represented a cloud but could equally have been dancing snowflakes.
The highlight of the first half was Beauty and the Beast, which was danced by the senior ballet students, including soloist Caroline Tranter dancing en pointe. Their graceful movement and handkerchief-hemmed dresses in autumnal shades gave the appearance of dancing leaves.
Opening the second half on a high note was a beautiful piece called Transitions, performed by pupils from the contemporary class. The production was stylish, elegant and tranquil with barely a sound from the feet of the performers as they moved across the stage.
The tempo zoomed up to ten with a lively and contemporary medley from the street dance class in sparkly hoodies and the seventies-themed Boogie Nights from the modern jazz class.
While the accent was on ensemble performances, Emily Haigh solo, Reflections, was particularly praiseworthy as it had to be adapted at short notice when he partner was taken ill prior to curtain up. A routine entitled For Two was beautifully interpreted by its choroegraphers, Alice Marsden and Alice Pritchard, whose actions mirrored one another.
Fran Greenhalgh proved to be the show’s super trouper, dancing with a bandaged, dislocated knee, an injury she sustained a number of years ago.
Dance Bites was staged over two nights in Chesterfield earlier this week.
Photograph by Derbyshire Photographic