Dance companies to stage annual spring production at CHS

Submitted photoThe 27th annual Spring Production, featuring the dancers, creative staff, choreographers and production crew of obcDANCEARTS, the FIRM Dance Company and SWGA United, will be held June 14-15 at Cairo High School.

CAIRO — The dancers, creative staff, choreographers and production crew of obcDANCEARTS, the FIRM Dance Company and SWGA United are gearing up for their 27th Annual Spring Production to be held at the Cairo High School auditorium June 14 and 15.

“Our creative genius, assistant director Hannah Harrison, has used her talents to bring life to the vision of Spring Production 2019,” director Dana Willis said. “Our original adaptation of The Greatest Showman,’ titled ‘This Is Me’ was such a hit last year that we decided to bring back our very own remained version by adding live vocals from local artists as well as members of our Teen Musical Theatre group.”

Inspired by the imagination of P. T. Barnum, “The Greatest Showman” is an original musical that celebrates the birth of show business and tells of a visionary who arose from nothing to create a spectacle that became a worldwide sensation.

“Our cast of oddities has taken this high-energy, captivating show to an entirely new level,” Willis said. “We are excited to add guest artists Marcus Godwin from Valdosta and Nicholas Hood from Baxley. Both dancers are from studios that the FIRM Dance Company competes against on the competition circuit, but over the years, our dancers and directors have become great friends and supporters of each other’s programs.”

“How cool is it that our studios are very competitive with each other, but as artists we respect each others’ programs enough to share dancers if needed,” added FIRM 2019 senior KT Morgan of Tallahassee, Florida. “We were brought together by dance and we have formed friendships that will last a lifetime.”

The second act of each night performance is “Wonderland Unleashed,” an original adaptation of “Alice in Wonderland.”

Our contemporary version of this familiar storyline takes you on a magical adventure where now teenaged Alice returns to the mystical world from her childhood memory. Her life takes a turn for the unexpected when she is reunited with her old friends and learns of her true destiny: to end the Red Queen’s reign of terror. 

Our Saturday 10 a.m. show will feature OBCDA’s younger dancers, acro classes, SWGA United, A Chance To Dance special needs class and the FIRM Dance Company.

The dancers will begin their weekend of performances for hundreds of summer campers and daycares that will be bussed to the auditorium on the mornings of July 13 and 14 for a special group performance of This is Me and Wonderland Unleashed.

“We always look forward to performing for an auditorium full of young campers and feed off their energy and excitement,” said senior Iris Brimm from Cairo. “Our special group performances have become so popular that we have added a second day of performances to accommodate additional summer camps from Leon, Thomas, Grady and surrounding counties.”

Willis and fellow dance mom Michelle Dean, owner of Pope’s Store Museum, have partnered to spread the awareness of how vital the arts and historic preservation are to the economic development of small towns and rural communities.

We are hoping our mission will encourage the community to come out and support the dedication of our young people to the arts.

“Gone are the days of three- to four-hour dance recitals with dance after dance,” said Harrison. “Our program puts on an professional production and we could not be more proud of the experience we give our dancers. We promise two hours of family-friendly entertainment where dance meets theatre.”

“We are excited to partner with Ultimate Sound and Lighting of Tallahassee and increase our theatrics with lighting and video graphics,” Willis added.

Although the spring productions are the highlight of the dance year, it is always bittersweet when we recognize our graduating seniors.

“Coming into my senior recital is both exciting and sad,” said senior Kate Vann from Colquitt. “I have been with this company over seven years and it is my second family.”

“Throughout my 18 years of doing many things from soccer, softball and cheer, dance is where my heart will forever be,” fellow senior Madison Davie of Cairo added.

“Watching many girls do their last senior walk, I always wanted to be in their shoes,” said Madison Nelson of Cairo. “Now the time has come (and) I don’t think I want to put those shoes on. This year’s graduating seniors are such a strong class of leaders and motivators and are completely dedicated to making their final spring production the very best it can be.”

Tickets are now on sale for all three spring productions and may be purchased online at obcdancearts.com under the Spring Production 2019 link. Seating will also be available at the door.

Showtimes are Friday, June 14 and Saturday, June 15 at 6 p.m. for “This Is Me” and “Wonderland Unleashed” with the dance, arc and cheer exhibition on Saturday at 10 a.m.

We encourage our community to join our mission of supporting our youth while supporting the arts.