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Booker T. Washington Celebrates Dance

by Gail Sachson 6 Apr 2011 2:27 PM

Guest blogger Gail Sachson says if you are a dance fan, this weekend offers some must-see performances.


Gail Sachson owns Ask Me About Art, offering lectures, tours and program planning. She is Vice Chair of the Cultural Affairs Commission and a member of the Public Art Committee.

Cancel your plans, whatever they may be, for the next three nights and go instead to “A Celebration of Dance” at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing & Visual Arts.

Thursday will be the second not-to-be-missed performance of dances choreographed by the Booker T faculty. Wednesday and Saturday, the Ensemble gets to show off. Alas! You have already missed the April 4 performance showcasing the best in choreography by senior students. Students scoring 95 or above on their choreographed projects and judged by a professional panel were featured. But like a blind taste test, you would be surprised how difficult to the inexperienced eye it was to discern the student from the teacher. Perhaps because the divine dancers, ranging from freshmen to seniors, are so very, very talented. Precision, determination, obvious engagement and enjoyment by the dancers inspired hoots and hollers from the mostly student audience.

At times, the dancers evoked (forgive me) the Rockettes. At times Swan Lake. There was humor. There was pathos. There was storytelling and scene setting. The costumes were simple and simply perfect. The music and narration ranged from President Bush to Lyle Lovett. Only the ponytails bouncing up and down, the teenage torsos and the seemingly boundless energy gave away the fact that the stars on the stage were not seasoned professional dancers. It was obvious that the master classes coordinated by TITAS helped instill a command of the stage and a sense of professionalism in these prodigies.

They rolled. They tumbled. They slid across the stage. They jumped into each other’s arms and split wider than imaginable. What is unimaginable, however, is that you might miss these performances. Do yourself a favor and be at the Montgomery Arts Theater at Booker T. in the Arts District one of the next three nights to celebrate dance and applaud our home grown talent and their teachers.