Waterfront Theatre College dance showcase review

By Laurie Scarborough

The Waterfront Theatre College’s latest dance showcase, Hit me with a Hot Note, opened last night at the Arena Theatre at the Artscape. The show features all the students from the dance stream of the Waterfront’s performance programme as well as Waterfront Theatre College graduates, Rushney Ferguson and Shannyn Fourie who gave us some vocal numbers throughout the evening.

As with their recent choreographic competition, there were strong and weak numbers. There were about four stand-out dancers who were featured in a number of the pieces, in particular Joanne Liebenberg, winner of the most outstanding female dancer at the choreography competition held earlier in the year, who was outstanding in all 10 of the numbers she was in. But unfortunately many of the other dancers were either quite mediocre, or were doing choreography that was so easy it was hard to tell if they were capable dancers or not.

I may be a hard critic when it comes to dance, but these are students who have auditioned to attend a performing arts college where they dance all day, every day, and so I think they should be at a much higher standard. There were some numbers where students weren’t bothering to point their toes and one number where students were in pointe shoes but they weren’t even standing in their shoes properly – some were falling off point and not even managing to do single pirouettes without difficulty.

The boys in particular, who were outnumbered by the girls about four-to-one, while attacking the choreography with energy and athleticism, were lacking in the more classical technique needed for many of the contemporary pieces. However, they were excellent in other jazzy items and the tap pieces.

Despite all this, there were a number of really entertaining numbers. There were a few really great contemporary numbers, as well as an excellent and very challenging tap piece that included the majority of the students. There was also an Irish dance which was a crowd-pleaser, even though they were mainly all dancing with tap dancing technique.

If you are an untrained dancer who loves watching dance then this is definitely the show for you. There was a huge variety of dance, from ballet, to jazz, contemporary, tap, Irish and hip-hop, and it will definitely be enjoyable to people who aren’t as critical as me about technique. The show plays the whole of this week, until Saturday evening. You can book tickets here.

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