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Romeo & Juliet by KS Dance | REVIEW

Romeo & Juliet by KS Dance | REVIEW

Last week, I was kindly invited along to watch Kate Simmons Dance perform their annual show and production of Romeo & Juliet, staged at The Bridley Theatre, Runcorn.

KS Dance are a vocational dance college based in Warrington, north west England. Founded by Kate Simmons, previously of London Festival Ballet as well as being a Cecchetti Faculty Committee Member, the professional vocational college has a strong emphasis on ballet, but it is not the only genre they teach. As such, the show was split into 2 halves – a variety show of musical theatre, jazz, hip hop, flamenco, contemporary, tap and singing, as well as a showcase of class variations, followed by a classical ballet production of Romeo & Juliet.

The first half really had something for everyone, with classic songs from broadway hits, to more modern musical theatre with a number from Hamilton, and current pop chart icons like Sia. The versatility in KS Dance students was phenomenal. Each contrasting number was executed with style and technique relevant to that particular genre. The acting and singing skills during the musical theatre numbers blew me away, there are some seriously talented triple threat students that attend!!!

Next came the class variations. This had been cleverly devised and set to showcase what the students master during classes, yet with a production feel. There were 5 levels of ballet, each group in their own colour costume, to make them easily distinguishable. It was a wonderful opportunity to see how ballet elements progress through the different stages, and how more advanced steps that we recognise in productions, are mastered.

Where the show really came into it’s own however, was Act II, KS Dance’s classical ballet production of Romeo & Juliet. The quality and technique displayed by all of the dancers was phenominal, but obviously the clandestine lovers stole the show. Not only were there jaw dropping height in the extensions, dizzying piroettes, and gravity defying leaps, but the level of maturity and acting displayed was captivating. For young students to be able to convey such levels of angst, passion and emotion, all the while exectuing difficult and intricate ballet steps, is a credit not only to them, but to their teachers.

All in all, KS Dance’s show was a hugely entertaining success, and what came across the most was the professionalism across the board. From the backstage warming up rituals, to the swift changes between acts in the first half (under 10 seconds each) and the gracious bows and curtseys at the finale, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d watched a an established, fully professinal dance company. Quality and maturity oozed from the students pores. A night of pure entertainment!

KS Dance host a showcase annually, and if you ever get the opportunity to watch, I would highly recomend it. There aren’t many shows you can pay under £15 a ticket and receive such high calibre dance and theatre in return. A must for any theatre enthusiast!

If you are interested in learning more about KS Dance and all that they offer, please head to their website http://ksd-online.co.uk/ Special thanks to Rupert Wiltshire for the invitation and Kate Simmons for allowing me an insight to her show.

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