The 2021 Spring Dance Revue braved Mother Nature’s challenges on an outdoor stage next to Chaffee Hall April 30 and May 1, and the result was a fun, fast-paced, and diverse show that audiences loved.
Solos, duets, trios, and larger groups performed seventeen pieces in a variety of dance styles, including contemporary, jazz, tap, and ballroom. Students choreographed 10 of the pieces, and seven others were created collaboratively in Loomis Chaffee dance courses or groups under the direction of dance teacher Kate Loughlin.
Students who are virtual learners this term not only choreographed pieces, but also performed virtually. Their performances were projected on screen for individual routines as well as during the group performances of which they were a part.
The outdoor venue, chosen to allow social distancing and avoid pandemic-related capacity limits of indoor spaces, presented advantages and challenges.
“The pros are that we get to perform live, in front of an audience, on a stage,” Kate said. She noted that the Spring Dance Revue was the third outdoor dance performance of the year. “This one feels the most like a ‘traditional’ performance,” she said, “but that doesn’t mean it’s any better or worse. The technical aspects [are] a bit more challenging — lights, sound, costume changes — but dancers are super-adaptable.”
With no walls to limit the space, the performances had a free and grand feeling. Both nights were well attended, with seats added to accommodate the growing crowd.
The Dance Revue was scheduled to be performed on three evenings, but weather forced the cancelation of the Thursday, April 29, show. Friday night’s performers fought through the wind and chill of the night. Saturday’s weather was calmer, and the performers did what they do best, just dance
In addition to praising the dancers’ excellence, Kate lauded the work of the behind-the-scenes heroes. “I’m very grateful to the student technicians who ran lights, sound, and projections for this show. They are a talented, dedicated bunch that we in dance and theater rely on,” she said, noting that the student musical, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, concluded just one week before the Dance Revue took place on the same stage.
“I’m also grateful to the school for continuing to support the creation and performance of live art during all the challenges of this year,” Kate said.
A gallery of photographs from the Spring Dance Revue will be available soon, and a link will be posted on the student and parent portals of the Loomis Chaffee website.