HomeEntertainmentDancers waltz on over to historic Outdoor Forest Theater for 2021’s first in-person show

Dancers waltz on over to historic Outdoor Forest Theater for 2021’s first in-person show

Published May 6, 2021


It isn’t hard to see how after a year sequestered away from the stage, student performers are raring to go, with Carmel High School’s dance program preparing for a live show, aptly titled “Live In-Person,” at the Outdoor Forest Theater on May 12-13. 

“I always envisioned that we were gonna get something in May, whether it was us building a stage in front of the amphitheater outside or performing on the grass,” says CHS dance teacher Kristine Tarozzi. “I wanted the opportunity for all of my dancers to perform.” 

The event will center on presenting senior capstone dances by three seniors in the Dance IV Honors class — Hannah Lyon, Madison Hart and Ruby Maxion — who spent their year with a focus on choreographing for other students instead of continuing to learn fundamentals. As well as capstone dances, each of the other four levels will perform a class dance of their own.

At a targeted duration of 10 to 15 minutes, these projects aim to replicate the kind of lengthy numbers that professional dance companies perform. While these dances are all directed by seniors, students from levels III and IV are cast in each of them, with some appearing in more than one.  

Even though developing these final projects took place over the course of the entire year for these three students, placing them into a live format was a lucky surprise. The plan had been to simply film them and post to Padre TV like the four-part “Dancing Makes Me Whole” series from earlier this year, but when the Forest Theater offered its space to CHS, the timing was perfect.

The CHS company’s season finale will bring an exciting new project to a historic venue (photo courtesy of HANNAH LYON)

“It’s not just a variety show of 3-minute dances with an intermission, our show has three 10- to 15-minute dances followed by three class dances, and a senior dance,” Lyon explains. “As nervous as I am, I’m just happy to be back onstage.” 

Rehearsal has taken many forms in preparation for this culminating show. As COVID-19 safety regulations tightened and loosened over the course of the year, methods of learning as a group ranged from pre-recorded video lessons to meeting as a group during cohort sessions or office hours.

“The rehearsal process for this show takes a lot more preparation because you have to teach things twice, once in-person and once online at least,” Hart says. “Teaching on Zoom and in-person is extremely difficult because you need to give your full attention to students in the classroom, but then you also have to make sure that the students online know the choreography as well.”

It was a challenge throughout the 2020-21 school year for performing arts programs to determine what opportunities their students would be presented with, and in tight weekly succession at the Forest Theater between the drama program’s “Little Women” and concerts from student musicians, CHS dancers are excited to capitalize on eased restrictions as the year comes to a close. 

“Live In-Person” will run on May 12-13 at 7 p.m. at the Outdoor Forest Theater. Tickets cannot be purchased at the door, but each dancer has a set number of reservations they can make. The show will also be available for viewing at PadreTV.org.

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