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The dancers, creative staff, choreographers and production crew of obcDANCEARTS, The FIRM Dance Company, and SWGA United are gearing up for their 27th annual spring production to be held at Cairo High School Auditorium this weekend. “Our ‘creative genius’, Assistant Director Hannah Harrison, has used her talents to bring life to the vision of Spring Production 2019,” says Director Dana Willis.
“Gone are the days of three to four hour dance recitals with dance after dance. Our program puts on a professional production and we could not be more proud of the experience we give our dancers,” added Ms. Harrison. “We promise two hours of family friendly entertainment, where dance meets theater.”
Willis said, “We are excited to partner with Ultimate Sound and Lighting of Tallahassee to increase our theatrics with lighting and video graphics.”
Tickets are now on sale for all three spring productions and may be purchased online at www.obcdancearts.com under the Spring Production 2019 link. Seating will also be available at the door. Show times are Friday, June 14, and Saturday, June 15, at 6 p.m. for “This Is Me” and “Wonderland Unleashed” with the dance, acrobatics and cheer exhibition on Saturday, July 15 at 10 a.m. “We encourage our community to join our mission of ‘supporting our youth’ while supporting the arts,” Willis exclaimed.
She continued, “Our original adaptation of ‘The Greatest Showman’, titled ‘This Is Me’ was such a hit last year that we decided to bring back our very own reimagined version by adding live vocals from local artists as well as members of our Teen Musical Theatre group.”
Inspired by the imagination of P. T. Barnum, “The Greatest Showman” is an original musical that celebrates the birth of show business and tells the story of a visionary who arose from nothing to create a spectacle that became a worldwide sensation.
“Our cast of ‘oddities’ has taken this high energy, captivating show to an entirely new level,” added Willis. “We are excited to add guest artists Marcus Godwin from Valdosta, Georgia, and Nicholas Hood from Baxley, Georgia. Both dancers are from studios that The FIRM Dance Company competes against on the competition circuit, but over the years, our dancers and directors have become great friends and supporters of each other’s programs.”
Act II of each night performance is “Wonderland Unleashed,” an original adaptation of “Alice In Wonderland”. The contemporary version of this familiar storyline takes audiences on a magical adventure where now teenaged Alice returns to the mystical world from her childhood memory. Her life takes a turn for the unexpected when she is reunited with her old friends and learns of her true destiny. . .to end the Red Queen’s reign of terror. The Saturday, 10 a.m. show will feature OBCDA’s younger dancers, acrobatics classes, SWGA United, A Chance To Dance Special Needs Class, and The FIRM Dance Company.
The dancers will begin their weekend of performance for 100s of summer campers and daycares that will be bussed to the auditorium on the mornings of July 13 and 14 for a special groups performance of “This Is Me” and “Wonderland Unleashed”.
“We always look forward to performing for an auditorium full of young campers and feed off their energy and excitement,” said senior Iris Brimm from Cairo. “Our Special Groups performances have become so popular that we have added a second day of performances to accommodate additional summer camps from Leon, Thomas, Grady and surrounding counties.”
Director Dana Willis and fellow “Dance Mom” Michelle Dean, owner of Popes Store Museum, have partnered to spread the message that the arts and Historic Preservation are vital to the economic development of small towns and rural communities. “We are hoping our mission will encourage the community to come out and support the dedication of our young people to the arts.”
Willis said, although the spring productions are the highlight of the dance year, it is bitter sweet when she recognizes the graduating seniors. Senior Madison Davie of Cairo said, “Throughout my 18 years of doing many things from soccer, softball, and cheer, dance is where my heart will forever be.” Madison Nelson of Cairo concluded with, “Watching many girls do their last senior walk, I always wanted to be in their shoes…now the time has come I don’t think I want to put those shoes on. This year’s graduating seniors are such a strong class of leaders and motivators and are completely dedicated to making their final spring production the very best it can be.”