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One big happy dancing family
WHAT a pity that, like the Olympics, Sale Academy of Dancing only present their display every four years. For Curtain Up, which celebrates the school’s 70th birthday, is such a good show it would be wonderful to see it every year especially the last scene, a lively can-can that is a whirl of fast movement, high-kicking legs and fantastic costumes with cartwheels, splits and, of course, shrieks thrown in.
The standard of the 160 performers aged three to 65 is high and they keep the audience on their toes with the sheer scope and skill of their perfectly choreographed dancing from modern to tap and ballet.
The show moves swiftly from scene to scene and I especially like the group poses at the end of each dance.
Students aged 16 - 18 who have passed the difficult Grade VI examination show the fruits of their labour with expressive interpretations of Macavity the Cat and Footloose.
But these are not examination pieces. This is a show designed for the entertainment of the audience.
No-one can resist the little ones who, wearing baby tutus and fairy wings make their unpredictable stage debuts. One gorgeous little girl with blonde hair is slightly out of sink but, for three year-olds they are remarkably poised as they become awakening fairies and then enthusiastically perform to Bibidee Bobidee Boo.
Slightly older, Year 1 girls are lion cubs who just can’t wait to be King. As with every performer it is their sheer enjoyment which spreads to the auditorium.
The largest group on stage, I counted over 30, come from Years 5 and 6 who dance to Bigger isn’t Better (though, in this case, it is) and Stick to the Status Quo.
The show isn’t all dance. Howard Anson, the MC, keeps us amused with jokes for young and old and Laura Brocklebank and Rachel Vose sing The Colours of the Wind and Let me Be Your Star, beautifully.
Adult dancers from the Monday and Friday classes tap to Tainted love and Anything Goes. It was nice to see Stuart Harding (50), the only male, joining the ladies in the former and I spotted former principal Muriel Coakley in the latter.
As in the finale,We are Family, the pupils of Sale Academy of Dance really are like one big family.
Star rating: * * * *