A castle, an arcadia and a wintry scene. These were some of the immersive animated backdrops that made a massive difference to the annual dance concert presented by Crestar School of Dance (CSD) at the University Cultural Centre Hall (NUS) on 18 November, this year. And it was spectacular!
For the first time, the colourful and almost surreal images gave the performers a sense of being in the actual scenes allowing them to immerse in them and lift their performances. The mood for each item was enlivened with narration of the story in sync with the music, animated backdrops and movements of the dancers in captivating costumes.
Billed with the theme “Once Upon A Time”, the two-hour concert showcased timeless classics from favourite children’s story books, such as Cinderella, Beauty & The Beast, Snow White, Aladdin, Tarzan, The Lion King and Frozen. The dance items were presented in various genres, including Ballet, Contemporary, Jazz, Hip Hop and Rhythmic Gymnastics (in collaboration with JACPA Sports Club of Japan).
The concert was put together by nine teachers from five CSD centres in Marine Parade, Woodlands, Hougang, Tampines and Toa Payoh. More than 250 students, with the youngest only three years of age, performed a total of 26 items.
One of the main highlights of the evening was the Crestar Dance Group’s performance of their competition piece “Sky”.
Parents, family members and friends of the students turned up in big numbers to support and cheer the young performers. Many parents were seen holding flowers meant for their participating children. Grandparents were also sighted in the audience.
The annual concert was a big learning exercise for the students. They practised for several months. To encourage collaboration among different levels and age groups, some of the performances were presented by students from different centres and with a mix of age groups from three to 14 years old. Some of the students had to visit other centres for their practices. This approach opened up opportunities for the students from different centres to share and learn from each other.
Students were also encouraged to choreograph their own performance. The item “Space Between”, a story about two best friends who had to part on a bittersweet note, was entirely-choreographed by the students themselves under the guidance of their teacher.
CSD endeavours to provide exposure for its students through competitions and public performances to further hone their dance skills and build their confidence. Outstanding students are given the opportunity to further their learning experience through the Crestar Dance Group scholarship programme. The programme will widen their range of techniques, skills and knowledge. With the dance group, they will also be exposed to a new paradigm of coaching that provides students dynamic learning environment and valuable training to become a professional dancer.