Usually on the 4th of July, we like to post a beautiful video of our favorite America-themed ballet, Stars and Stripes. I, of course, would have chosen that time it was featured in best-dance-movie-ever Center Stage. (“Those pirouettes were amazing. Amazing and tiring, huh?” Oh Jodie, so naive.)
Anyway…while searching for videos, I remembered a number on “America’s Got Talent” a few years back that was really touching. It, too, was America-themed, and it used Pilobolus-like shadow work to bring landmarks across the USA to life. If you don’t remember, they were The Silhouettes from Rocky Mountain School of Dance in Arvada, CO. Here’s the number:
Pretty cool, huh? I spoke to choreographer Lynne Waggoner-Patton shortly after the kids’ “AGT” appearance, and she told me how difficult it was to choreograph in shadows. “There are things you can get away with as a dancer that you can’t get away with when you’re behind the screen. Every little detail matters—your angle, your turnout and how far you are from each other,” she says. “Plus, we can’t really see what we’re doing in the studio, because we only have 12-foot ceilings and our screen is 18-feet high. We have to rent a theater if we want to see what we’re actually making!”
And here’s a fun fact: The screen The Silhouettes perform with has a name! It came from Italy, so the dancers call it “Monte Pietro” or “Mountain Peak” in Italian.
Happy 4th, dancers! I hope this video gets you into the spirit of the day.