A dancer’s life is filled with job insecurity, physical challenge and audition showdowns.
But the pain, disappointment and fierce competition can’t compare to the joy of dancing on stage to entertain an audience.
That was the message of Evolution Dance’s “In the Spotlight” program Tuesday in Savannah Center. The show also will run Wednesday and Thursday at 7 p.m. in Savannah Center.
The event showcased hoofers, ballerinas, tappers, Broadway gypsies and, of course, the chorus.
The goal was for the dancers to bring the audience “into our world,” said Diane Vargas, artistic director of Evolution Dance.
Helene Yelverton, co-artistic director, stated her hope was to “reveal and share with the audience the many challenges each dancer faces.”
From the early number “The Audition” to the finale of “That’s Entertainment,” this was a dance extravaganza.
Choreographers Yelverton, Vargas, Kathy Chesley-Williams, Cheri Lindell, Rose Bianchini and Bonnie Felicicchia presented an entertaining blend of styles and stories.
It was something like “Chorus Line” meets “42nd Street,” with a little ballet tossed in for good measure.
Carter Poust brought the best of music and dance to the stage. He fit right in with smooth moves on “Song and Dance Man.” Later, he took a cue from Donald O’Conner while performing “Make ‘Em Laugh” from “Singing in the Rain.” Chip Fuller, Frank Olive and Jack Filkins helped out on that number with acrobatic moves and comical mayhem.
Poust and Filkins teamed up for a duet on “Well Did You Evah” – originally done by Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby in “High Society.”
Tap was showcased early on in “The Tap Audition.” The line of dancers included Elaine Bondie, Sheena Bright, Kathy Chesley-Williams, Violet Ray and Rosie Theiss.
Mollie McCarthy joined Paige Fleming, Leslie Rosenberg, Mary Ann Dailey, Jacqie Davis and Diane Vargas for a graceful “Name In Lights.”
Judy Jonas added some slick and elegant moves on “She Loves to Hear The Music.” Chip and Phip Fuller joined in, with help from Filkins, Yuri Sohn and Vargas.
One number that seemed to sum up the show was “Dancing Is Everything.” Sohn teamed with Sheena Bright, Fleming, Jonas, Rosenberg and Vargas.
Kathy Chesley-Williams showed her dramatic style and rhythmic moves on “Stepping Out,” with help from the rest of the cast.
Sue Schuler added vocal power to the second half of the show, singing “I Am What Am/We Are What We Are.”
Diane Vargas was a prima ballerina and the Villager can still create graceful motion as she did teaming with Phip Fuller on “Dance For Me.”
Yuri Sohn brought more ballet moves as she held a pink parasol on “Shadow Dance.” Paul Young added depth singing his version of Louis Armstrong’s “Wonderful World.”
The female dancers wore orchid and pale pink gowns for a ballroom number, “This Is the Moment.” Costumes turned aqua for “Le Jazz Hot,” featuring Chesley-Williams, Dailey, Bright, Kay Jobe, McCarthy, Rosenberg and Theiss.
The whole cast joined in for “That’s Entertainment,” and those words were an apt description of Evolution Dance’s show. Money raised benefits Operation Helping Hand and Operation Shoebox.
Evolution Dance has raised nearly $71,000 for those organizations over the past decade.
Tony Violanti is a veteran journalist and writes for Villages-News.com.