Dance dance revolution

ALEX TARNOWSKI | STAFF REPORTER

An enormous crowd gathered at the Howard L. Schrott Center for Performing Arts Sunday evening to watch a fusion of show tunes and musical theatre dancing.

“Song and Dance!,” part of the 2015 Butler Arts Fest, combined the music, singing and dancing of five Broadway musicals.

The show featured a full band playing on downstage right corner, fully equipped with wind, brass, string and percussion instruments.

It also featured four Butler student singers, 16 Butler student dancers and one guest singer and Butler alum Michele McConnell.

The program began with excerpts from “Carousel,” with McConnell singing “If I Loved You.”  As she softly sang, a group of dancers dressed in brightly colored costumes slowly paraded onto the stage. Once the song ended, the dancers froze in poses and McConnell sat down to watch.

The dancers began the “Carousel Waltz,” with bright and happy music, creating circular formations resembling a carousel.

The next musical performed was “Cinderella.”  Kiersten Howell sang a rendition of “In My Own Little Corner” as Cinderella, and three couples in elegant tuxedos and dark evening gowns slowly waltzed onto the stage.

As they began the “Cinderella Waltz,” a woman in bright red entered from downstage left.  She appeared excited and eager to dance at the ball, eagerly accepting an invitation from a gentleman to dance.  Anastasia Ellis and Matthew Griffin had a featured pas de deux until the clock strikes midnight, and she quickly ran offstage, abandoning him in true Cinderella fashion.

“This performance was one of the most fun I’ve ever had, ” Griffin said.

One of the dancers, Pattersen Floberg, surprised the audience by walking forward to the singers.  She, along with Howell and Nellie Shuford, sung a trio of “When You’re Dancing in the Moonlight.”

A group of four singers, two men and two women, entered.  Shuford and Christopher Wolf sang a duet from “Oklahoma!” titled “People Will Say We’re in Love.”  Patrick Lord-Remmert followed with a heart-wrenching rendition of “Lonely Room.”  After the duet “Out of My Dreams,” the dancers do-si-doed and swung their partners in authentic cowboy and cowgirl attire.

After intermission, the cast performed excerpts from the musical “The King and I.”  Shuford sang a solo “I Have Dreamed,” and McConnell and Wolf sang “Shall We Dance?”  McConnell stepped away from the microphone and toward the dance floor, and performed a short duet with dancer Marie Harrison.

The final Broadway musical featured was “On Your Toes.”  McConnell sang a jazz solo called “Glad to Be Unhappy.”  The concluding scene of the show was “Slaughter on Tenth Avenue,” a ballet depicting the story of a dance hall girl falling in love with a dancer, who is then shot by her jealous boyfriend.

“Tonight was such a blessing,” Floberg said.  “It was the best way to end my Butler Ballet career.”

The audience greeted the end of the show with an eruption of applause.

“I loved the performance!” said student Lydia Gentry.  “It was great integration of the different talents we have at Butler.”

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