Back in September, about 100 Routt County residents decided they wanted to perform in the massive production that is the annual Steamboat Dance Theatre concert.
At least a few dozen more joined the production team, technical crew and organizational effort to put on the show, a two-hour showcase of local talent that touches on a long list of dance styles and reaches outside the bounds of a traditional recital.
During the Dance Theatre’s dress rehearsal Wednesday night for its 38th annual concert, those dancers, crewmembers and organizers put forth a carefully practiced product for an audience of friends, family and community members in the Steamboat Springs High School auditorium.
Starting off with an energetic African dance number called “Osa,” this year’s dance program fits first-time artistic coordinator Tiana Buschmann’s goal of creating an envelope-pushing, diverse set of original dance pieces.
Without giving too much away — it’d be a shame to spoil some of the more thrilling surprises — the choreographers rose to Buschmann’s challenge of bringing a sense of growth to each number. Belly dance dips into comedy, hula dance benefits from visually stunning effects, and a piece using fitness balls benefits from the impeccable balance of its performers.
A community concert, the annual dance performance makes good use of its huge pool of contributors. With about 100 dancers involved, most local audience members will recognize a few of the people on stage. That makes for a more enthusiastic crowd reaction, and the sheer volume of people allows for some striking choreography.
The final piece of the concert’s first act — a tribute to Michael Jackson choreographed by Deb Curd — uses almost half the concert cast, filling the stage with decorated dancers working their way through a revised take on familiar moves.
Bulk comes in handy again for the concert’s last piece, a circus-themed number choreographed by Buschmann that casts Dance Theatre performers as the characters in a big tent show. Like everything else in the show, careful attention to lighting, music and performance push the piece past being a recital number and make it a show.
The 38th annual Steamboat Dance Theatre concert finishes its run today with performances at 2 and 7 p.m. Tickets are $15 for general admission, $20 for reserved seating and $12 for students and seniors. A free children’s ticket is available with each adult ticket for the 2 p.m. matinee. Proceeds benefit the Dance Theatre’s outreach efforts. Learn more at www.steamboatdancetheatre.com.