Sunday, July 13, 2014


Essex Dance Theatre Brentwood at Brentwood Theatre

An amazingly varied programme of dance from this unique dance project.
The three performing groups, plus specialist off-shoots, changed styles and costumes with seamless ease, producing a showcase that was hugely enjoyable to watch. Twenty-three numbers all told, so we can only select a handful.
A lively, witty Mamma Mia, danced in colourful costumes. A charmingly old-fashioned I Could Have Danced All Night.
An excellent tap duo to “Cups”, perversely, since the number is already so percussive.
Some choreography winners, including Alice Andrews with a beautifully expressive piece, especially in the use of the hands, and in first place, Francesca Gomez with an extended piece to Radioactive.
A wonderfully cute tap-dancing Tiptoe Through The Tulips, with luminous blooms.
Particularly imaginative choreography to When She Loved Me from Toy Story, beginning as marionettes and ending in an evocative spiral effect which was quite magical.
A stageful of little sweeps, a well-drilled, thunderous Irish number, and a Cats finale which involved the whole company in feline teeshirts.
The costumes throughout were simple but striking – black tutus, gingham, patterned prints for The Two Tribes.
The dances were devised by Jane Ben-Aderet, Jessica Bradshaw, Kim Bradshaw, Nicole Carman, Helen Cridland and Rhiannon Munson-Hobbs.

Archive photograph by Clare Rowden

1 comment:

Mary Redman said...

Every July I look forward to the lively and very varied annual showcase from EDT Brentwood. Every year I am not disappointed in the slightest.
EDT Brentwood's supremo Jane Ben-Aderet never fails to come up with a show that uses interesting music, colourful and effective costumes on a shoestring and includes choreographed items conceived and performed by students. Some of the latter are award winners in their own right.
INSTEP are the group of senior dancers who dedicated extra time to concentrating on their performing in addition to all their usual classes. They kicked off proceedings with the snazzy Ladies Choice from Hairspray choreographed by Jessica Bradshaw.
Fly A Kite choreographed by Jane made full use of the innate charm of the Primary Ballet Class, featuring their trademark of delightfully uninhibited performance skills. My only regret in seeing an evening performance is missing Pinocchio by the Under-5s who only appeared at Saturday Matinee.
The Two Tribes showcased the work of the Senior and Middle Performers in choreography by Nicole Carman and Rhiannon Munson-Hobbs. A different inhouse choreographed winner's work featured each evening so we saw Alice Andrews' fifth-placed piece.
Somewhere Only We Know was performed by the Senior Performers who suddenly appeared so much more grown up than the preceding dancers.
The massed ranks of the Middle Performers took to Kim Bradshaw's choreography of Mama Mia with glee.
It was back to ooh and aah as Grade 1&2 Tap Class shone their illuminated tulips through the blackout. Athleticism ruled as INSTEP were let loose on Rhiannon Munson-Hobbs' version of Let It Rock. Intermediate Tap concentrated on the rhythm of Kim Bradshaw's work. Grade 5 Ballet Class, not yet en pointe, brought elegance to Gentility.
Another reason to smile came from the enthusiasm of Junior Performers in Chimney Sweeps. Kim Bradshaw's A Taste of Ireland from the Senior Tappers leant more towards traditional Festival style and not the glitzy modern Feise.
Beautiful white dresses featured in INSTEP's highly dramatic, awardwinning Missing Family followed by the delightful Junior Performers in Baked A Cake while Pizzicato Pointe cleverly showed how Grade 6 Ballet Class in tutus progress towards ballerina status.
Bethany, Lily W and Megan's trio was a second placed Choreography Winner while the first place went to Senior and Middle Performers choreographed by Francesca Gomez, and third place to the Junior Group with Frozen danced in blue crushed velvet long dresses.
Exuberant Bebop in Candyman by Senior and Middle Performers was followed by adorable Junior Ballet in blue classic length ballet dresses and sparkle. Jazz A went for Addicted To You by Helen Cridland while Middle Performers showed off When She Loved Me, and Senior Performers were back with Shake A Tail Feather featuring the Twist.
The whole cast filled the stage for the finale danced to Cats with enthusiastic audience applause.

Post a Comment