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A wonderful celebration of Dance

Published Wednesday 9th of April 2014 02:37:16 PM

The St Benedict�s Dance Show played to an enthusiastic and vociferous audience of Junior School pupils on Tuesday 25th March and, the following evening, to an enthralled audience of parents and friends. This fourth show was the biggest and best yet, with the school�s Orchard Hall packed full and extra tickets having to be printed. It was a tremendous personal triumph for Dance Teacher and Choreographer Ruth Kestenbaum, who managed to coax superb performances from the 140-strong cast, which included pupils from Year 1 right through to Year 13. The show was expertly compered by Francis Curran (Year 11).

The youngest performers started proceedings with �Somewhere only we know� � a contrasting piece, with alternate graceful and Big Beat scenes. Year 10 earned their applause with �Great Balls of Benedict�s� - an energetic Rock and Roll Dance made up of a medley of well-known songs. �The Toy Shop�, presented by Year 3 was a delightful and cleverly arranged piece. Year 2 presented �Do Your Thing� a funny animal dance, with plenty of enthusiasm, lots of cartwheels and a smart group finish. Students from the top three years were mesmerising in �Marjaani Marjaani� � an Eastern dance full of mystery and charm. A Hip Hop medley, �Saturday Academy Crew Set�, was presented by four senior girls and one boy and the first half of the show was concluded with a comical twist when the PE department made their dance debut on stage.

After the interval four senior girls presented a wonderful trio of Tap, Irish Dancing and Ballet. It was a rare visit to the world of classical music for the ballet, performed by Alessandra Messa with quite beautiful poise. Sophia Fitzmaurice soon had the audience clapping in time with her Irish Dancing and we then admired the intricate footwork of Monira Oliveira Khalil and Siofra Boyle as they went through their Tap Dancing routine. Year 7 staged their �Battle of the Bennies� with four groups trying to outdo each other in turn as the music and dancing rose to a crescendo with the whole group finale. �Jar of Hearts� from the top years was a wistful, yet commanding performance, full of grace and with a beautiful ending. Years 5 and 6 put on �Daze of the 70�s� which went down extremely well and provided an intricately controlled finish. �Bang Bang� went Years 8 and 9 in a nicely developed number, with new dancers coming on regularly and swelling the finale to nearly thirty on stage.

And so, far too quickly, we had come to the end. The Grand Finale saw all the groups come on in turn, from the eldest first to the youngest at the end, to huge and continuous applause from the audience. It had been a show to remember, a wonderful celebration of dance at St Benedict�s.

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