The South Carolina Dance Theatre, a leader in dance training, productions and innovative performances, will bring plenty of leaps, bounds, and surprises to Francis Marion University’s 30th-annual Art’s Alive festival.
They don’t have long to wait either because the highly feted festival will take place March 24 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Under the leadership of Executive Director, Cecilia Hamilton Sprawls and Artistic Director Susan Rowe, the South Carolina Dance Theatre group consisting of about 50 dancers from age nine to teenagers will be performing a wide variety of ballet styles as well as tap and jazz in FMU’s McNair Auditorium.
They along with nine other groups will clap, side-step, shuffle and kick either in the McNair Auditorium or the Outdoor Dance Stage in an effort to entertain Florence residents this year. Other groups include the South Carolina Dance Theatre, the Performing Arts Academy, Coker Repertory Dance Company, Phat Pheet of Williams Middle School, the Tri-City Shag Club, Dancin’ on Main, Kelley’s Fine Arts, Showbiz Studio & Dance Company, School of Dance Arts and Dance for Joy Dance Studio.
The South Carolina Dance Theatre group has worked on their dance pieces since January and is looking forward to showcasing their talents at this year’s festival, said Hamilton.
“The experience of performing and having a live audience right up close to you on all four sides is exciting,” Hamilton said. “You automatically see their reaction to your dancing.”
In addition, Hamilton said she will be bringing about 300 children from the School of Dance Arts to perform on the outdoor stage. This group has performed at the festival since its inception, missing only a few years here and there, Hamilton said.
Consisting of children ages five and older, the group will perform ballet, tap and jazz as well. For those who can’t decide which performance to attend, Hamilton said they will each take the stage twice with a different routine each time. She offers other advice as well.
“The outdoor performance is not quite as formal and probably easier to watch,” Hamilton said. “If you decide to attend the indoor performance, be prepared to see a regular theatre performance with the lights and all.”
This project is funded in part by the Florence Regional Arts Alliance and the South Carolina Arts Commission, which receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as a generous award from the John and Susan Bennett Memorial Arts Fund of the Coastal Community Foundation of South Carolina.
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