By Terry Rogers
Aimee String, Director and Instructor at TADA Studios says that she is very proud of the recent performances of The Tale of the Little Mermaid, presented at Milford High School on April 23, 2016. Ms. String said that, like with every performance, there were technical difficulties and minor missteps, but she was impressed with the way the dancers handled them.
“They were complete professionals on the stage,” Ms. String said. “Most of the audience never knew that we missed a blackout or someone’s headpiece fell off on stage. I believe that what the dancers are learning on that stage will translate into their adult lives. Things don’t always go exactly as planned but you just keep going.”
Ms. String said that watching Brittany Poore, the dance troupe’s senior dancer, perform the lead role of Ariel in her last show with Diamond Dance Company was bittersweet. String said that watching Brittany grow not only as a dancer, but also as an amazing young woman, was extremely emotional thinking about how far she has come.
Audiences were able to dive into the underwater world of the main character, Ariel, a young mermaid who wants to leave her ocean home. The Hans Christian Anderson tale became a popular Disney animated movie which was released in 1989 and still remains popular among children as well as adults. Ariel was played by both Ms. Poore and Jill Wilkins. The two young women said that preparation for the show required long hours, but all of the time was worth it in order to tell the story through dance.
“It is my senior year, so fitting it all in has been difficult,” Ms. Poore said. “I wouldn’t have changed a thing though. Dance gives me a way to express myself without using words. Ariel allowed me to communicate my emotions using dance. To know that the audience understood the story without us saying anything was incredible.” Ms. Wilkins said that the performances were challenging, but she is also grateful for the ability to express herself with dance.
Ms. String said that audience members saw some differences in the ballet performance from the original fairy tale, which was written in 1837, as well as the well-known Disney version of the story. However, the ballet included the magical happy-ending twist that children and adults have come to expect in fairy tales.
“Our dancers were able to connect with the audience as individuals and as a team,” Ms. String said. “We are so proud of all the dancers who told Ariel’s story. We are also grateful to Milford School District, the parents, volunteers, board members and audience members who made it possible. In the grand scheme of things, this is just one production, but in that one production, hundreds of children were exposed to a ballet performance, dozens of dancers made lifelong memories and children realized dreams. It’s an awe-inspiring thing and I’m so proud to be a small piece of the puzzle.”
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