MHS Dance Company dances into your heart.
After months of rehearsing, the curtains will open Friday night, and 45 dedicated dancers will catch the spotlight on the stage of the MHS Auditorium. Settle into a seat and you’ll quickly forget you’re in front of high school students. This is a performance that shows no sign of age, rather all the appeal of raw talent.
The MHS Dance Company is a diverse group of young students signifies the artistic aspect of Montclair High School, one of only 13 schools to be named as a Model School in the Arts for New Jersey. For some, this is their senior performance, a time to share a bittersweet finale, but for all, it is a performance they have invested time in since October.
In a front-row seat of a dress rehearsal show, the harmonizing duet of the national anthem accounted for the start to a promising performance. The curtains broke and Montclair High School dancers took the stage. I surrendered my emotions as my chills were intensified.
A captivating experience, you will lose your breath during all 10 dances. I was only broke of a mesmerizing gaze when I heard a side-note from Denise Brown. The artistic director of the ensemble, Brown was attentive to each dancer, sharing final opinions for the coming performance. It showed her watchful eye, as well as her words, her dedication to these young performers; in the dancers, it showed her inspiration.
The MHS Dance Company students weren’t performing to the music, but rather the music was playing through them. They were able to tell a story, and tell it well, using their body to fluidly reproduce truth, language and art. Their skills were brought to life with the help of choreographers Lamar Baylor, Sophia Rieth, Daniel Montera, Ashley Carter, Vanessa Martinez De Banos, Donna Scro, Emily Claman, Keenan Cooks, Max Stone, Ella Bandes and Director Denise Brown. The performance was lit and given sound from the technical stand of Sam Gordon and the SVPA tech students.
A show that worthy of a standing ovation should convince you to brave a night out in the cold. These students are not on their way to stardom; they have already claimed it, each deserving a spot on that stage – and you are fortune enough to have a seat in the spectacle.
The MHS Dance company will take the stage for their spring concert this weekend. Performances are set for Friday, Feb. 28 and Saturday, March 1 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, March 2 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for students. Be sure to see them in action on the stage, located at 141 Park Street, Montclair, N.J.