Dancing with Dupont

By Grace LiuDupont

Since 1913, Leicester’s largest entertainment venue has provided people across the country with just that: entertainment. From plays to concerts to Broadway musicals, De Montfort Hall has been a model representation of the diversity and originality that Leicester is so famous for. But did Dupont Dance Stage School manage to keep up such a reputation?

Dupont Dance Stage School hit the stage of De Montfort Hall for the 13th year running on Saturday 31st January with their latest show An Evening of Dance. The show began with five dance numbers, comprising mainly Modern dancing to tracks such as Soda Pop and Sing Sing Sing. These first performances had a mix of small groups of equally small dancers and entire classes of older dancers. The show definitely got off to a dazzlingly energetic start.

Following the first five dances and a formal introduction, there were 36 more performances in total, where the innovation in dance, sparkling costumes and music really took off. What struck me most was the wide variety of musical genres used. Most conventionally, there were a couple of Swan Lake (Tchaikovsky) ballet numbers. One was very professionally portrayed by the school’s Pointe Repertoire group. The other featured tiny children no older than about four, dancing completely unassisted to Dance of the Cygnets. Then before the interval, a mashup of the ever viral Let it Go from Disney’s Frozen and Winter by Vivaldi. A curious combination that nonetheless further demonstrated the show’s originality.

And that was to say nothing of the second half. The story of Nanny McPhee portrayed entirely by dance in time to music from the film? Bring it on. Possibly one of the most cleverly arranged and choreographed numbers in the show, I felt. Closely followed by a remix of Pachelbel’s Canon, a couple of contemporary songs and then an entirely solo performance of the group number Nicest Kids in Town from Hairspray. To wrap up, the entire ensemble showed off their different dances to Clean Bandit’s Rather Be, ending the show as skilfully as it had started off.

Altogether, the Dupont Dance show looked both professional and diverse, in terms of the dancing, music, costumes and lighting. The latter looked more like the sort you’d see at a disco, scattering the whole room with different shapes and colours. If I had to criticise anything, it would be the way the lights were still blinding even through closed eyelids (migraine and epilepsy sufferers, be warned). That aside, Dupont Dance Stage School pulled off a successful show and kept De Montfort Hall’s roof raised for yet another evening.

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