Dorothy England

Equinox Staff


Rosy cheeks and numbing fingers accompanied the crowds rushing towards the Redfern Arts Center for the chilly night’s performance this past Saturday at 7 p.m. The show featured children from the dance group, MoCo Arts. Talee Messenger, a student herself from the organization, came to support her older classmates and teacher who was substituting in for a sick student. She came with her mother, Tammy, who comes to every performance she can, including the past three Nutcrackers, which she said were just amazing.

Talee has been dancing since she was three-years-old, including ballet and jazz. One could tell from the excited look waltzing in her eyes as the dancers performed their pieces. The show started with energy blazing, a circus scene, set with a ringmaster, acrobats, even a pretend audience. Every move was tiptoeing with precision. Colors popped like confetti, tangoing with sparkles and disco lights. Opening the night was Freak Show.

The next dance, identified as Lights Down, was a set composed of a sweet love story with music from Dave Matthews tuning along. This particular scene starred Ella Richardson who audience members Daria Levy and Suzy Siesteele had come to see. “We’re excited to see the most wonderful dancer,” said Levy. Richardson, who has been dancing for about a year, mentioned how she loved performing with MoCo Arts. “I love it; it’s something to look forward to, and you get to see your friends,” she said.

Another dancer, Emma Cummings, agreed saying that being with MoCo Arts is much more like a family than just hanging out with classmates. She’s been dancing for 10 years. Cummings also said of the rehearsal that “after all the rehearsals, it’s good to see it all come together.”

The rehearsals paid off. The synergy of the show was impeccable, with a mix of reggae, hip-hop, rock, and beachy ‘50s tunes accompanying the dances.

There was always a story unraveling through the movements of the dancers. In one particular dance, named Valerie, the maturity of the performers was marvelously revealed.  The piece centered around one girl dressed in black and red who danced in the center with some dancers on the left and some on the right.

Perhaps in symbolic representation of the brain, the dancers to the left of the girl in center were ballerinas. Their hair was tightly wound in a bun, and their movements were precise and concrete in deliberate intent. Logic ran its steady flow through their veins. However, on the other side, the dancers left their hair untamed. Their motions were more creatively wild and electrically ambitious. Drawn by both attributes, the star of the presentation moved sporadically interchanging between personalities, eventually combining the two in wonderfully composed interaction. In a powerful display, all the dancers weaved in and around each together in graceful, yet exuberance performance.

In another representation, the idea of uniting two opposing characteristics was displayed. This certain set played Guns ‘n’ Roses, strobe lights flickering in wild aggregation; however the dancers in this scene were portrayed as fairy children with loose curls cascading and dressed in woodsy green attire.   Maude Warshaw was one of the performers in this piece. She liked that she was able to incorporate her absolute favorite style of dancing, modern into this display. However, she also mentioned that her preferred show was the last piece, entitled Internal Noise.

This piece was delightfully compiled with music from Pink Floyd in the background. As with all the performances, music was played from a stereo. The only exception was the act named 12 Dancing 5×4 which featured the Apple Hill String Quartet.

The quartet added a beautiful sound for the dancers to flow with in graceful pace, much like a steady river. However, not all viewers felt the same about the music mixed with particular acts.

“I thought the full performance was very high quality. It’s great to come. None of my kids are even in the show, but we love to still come,” said Matora Yiorey. Suzy Siesteele also mentioned, “It’s a wonderful way to get out and do something with the community.”

As proof, the seats were filled. The most returning viewer, Byll Reeve of Eastern Video Projection, is the professional videographer.  He’s been working this job for 26 years. “My favorite part is how much the kids enjoy it; the energy they have.” Energy was what kept the show interesting. The kids moved with lightning in their blood, losing themselves to the music. It was their time to dance.


Dorothy England can be contacted at

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