Monday, Feb. 26, 2024|
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Island Dance Academy will present “The Nutcracker” on Dec. 8-10.
Kaluhea Kekaualua as "Wonder Woman" sings a solo for N2 Dance's "Super Heroes," an original musical production, during rehearsal Wednesday at the Palace Theater.
Abrea Hahn as "Thor" performs a hip-hop dance with a crew of dancers from N2 Dance during rehearsal Wednesday for "Super Heroes."
After months of rehearsals, three local dance studios will be showcasing their dancers with performances at the Hilo Palace Theater throughout this month.
Beginning tonight, N2 Dance, a performing arts school in Hilo, will be performing its original musical production, “Super Heroes.”
The entirety of the school will be on stage as the 80 performers showcase their talents in acting, singing and dancing in the styles of hip-hop, jazz, contemporary, break dancing and hula.
According to Angela Woods, director of N2 Dance, the summer acting classes brainstormed ideas for the winter production and came up with a story about super heroes that gives every student a chance to shine.
“We started rehearsals after developing the production at the end of August, so we’ve been working for about three months now,” Woods said. “It still feels like we’re in the middle of chaos, but we always see the fruits of our labor by showtime.”
“Super Heroes” also will feature some parents on stage as they are incorporated into a couple of dances and will be helping the heroes “fly.” Performers range in age between 5 and 52.
“Performing at the Palace can give some of our younger, newer performers overwhelming feelings, but every year we see them turn it around on the day,” Woods said. “Everything always falls into place.”
N2 Dance will perform “Super Heroes” at 7 p.m. today and 2 p.m. Saturday at the Palace Theater.
Tickets are available on the Palace’s website or at the box office for $15 for general admission and $25 for priority orchestra seating. The price will be $5 more at the door.
N2 Dance offers classes in hip-hop, dance tricks, jazz, ballet barre and hula, as well as individual and group voice lessons and acting classes.
Spring 2024 registration is now open. More information about the performing arts school can be found at n2-dance.com.
Next on stage at the Palace Theater will be Island Dance Academy as they present the annual performance of “The Nutcracker” at 7 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 8, and Saturday, Dec. 9, and 2 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 10.
Fifty-four dancers will be featured in the annual holiday show, which was started in 1989 by Island Dance Academy Director Suen Hughes.
Featuring whirling-twirling ballerinas, tap-dancing soldiers, sword-fighting combatants, and more, “The Nutcracker,” is a fan-favorite ballet that goes hand-in-hand with the Christmas holiday.
This year, instructors Megan Kimata and Kira Okazaki developed new choreography and reworked some of the traditional dances to adapt to dancers’ strengths. This includes new, comical tap-dancing cooks.
“I have loved putting ‘The Nutcracker’ on every year, because it’s our version of the tradition, and it always becomes a lovely performance,” Hughes said. “It’s pleasantly surprising to me when we get people who don’t have someone in the show in the audience, and they are just there to enjoy the art.”
Tiffany Yamashita will star as the Sugarplum Fairy along with Skylee Hiraki as Clara and Lexington Trooien as her Nutcracker Prince. Kiara Kimata and Airi Broomell will be dancing as Spanish Chocolate and the Dew Drop Fairy, respectively.
Organist Rick Mazurowski will set the tone before each performance with Christmas music played on the Palace’s pipe organ.
Tickets are available through the Palace Theater’s website or at the box office for $20. The price will be $5 more at the door.
Island Dance Academy has taught East Hawaii children classical ballet, tap and jazz since 1977. Students as young as 4 can join, and classes are offered at multiple levels of dance in each of the specialties. For more information, visit islanddanceacademy.com.
The Center Stage Winter Showcase and Fundraiser will round out the dancing performances at the Palace with shows on Saturday, Dec. 16, and Sunday, Dec. 17.
On Saturday of that weekend, Center Stage Dance Alliance will showcase its keiki classes at 3 p.m., which will be followed by fundraiser festivities in the Palace lobby from 3:30 to 5 p.m. There will be a silent auction, bake sale, live music, face painting and other fun activities for keiki and families.
The Winter Showcase performances featuring teens and adults from Center Stage will begin at 7 p.m. on Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday. Dancers will showcase the skills they’ve developed over the year as they perform ballet, jazz, contemporary and hip-hop dances for the crowd.
Tickets for the keiki performance and the Winter Showcase performances are available through the Palace Theater’s website or at the box office.
Center Stage is a nonprofit in Hilo that aims to provide meaningful activities through dance and creative movement to enrich the East Hawaii community. Registration for 2024 winter and spring session will be available in the beginning of December on the website at centerstagehilo.com.
More information and tickets for the upcoming dance performances are available on the Palace Theater’s website at hilopalace.org.
Email Kelsey Walling at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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