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Buddy Holly Gets a Date, Review by Paul Nickels

ANOTHER NIGHT, ANOTHER SHOW: Buddy Holly Gets a Date, Round One. If you missed it, you can catch Round Two April 16-17 at Kayenta.

Have I heard people say it's hard to get a crowd to a dance concert? Tonight I stood outside the Electric Theater for twenty minutes with Aaron Naylor as he struggled to juggle the ticket roster with people FLOODING up to the door! I can't say about the balcony, but I didn't see a single empty seat on the floor.

St. George Dance Company is making its reputation as one of the entertainment venues we love to see. Its contribution is to REbalance the things we go to theater for. The usual musical experience is to HEAR a story with song as the medium and watch choreography added to enhance the story. Tonight we SAW stories with dance as the medium, and heard songs added to enhance the story! Buddy Holly got the back seat!

And we got a live band! That's a rare plus these days.  

 

So, not all the songs were by Buddy Holly - actually, only ONE! But the gist of it all is the feel-good nostalgia of what it was like to find that special someone in the dating scene, and the music that captured those hormone-driven moments - including the traumas that went with them! The breakups, the rejection, the uncertainty, the AWKWARD we've all experienced, but given a fresh twist: Jennie Jones nailed a relevant social statement when she created this tribute to the woes of dating in the cell phone era!

Abe Hegewald is the featured centerpiece as he dances his way in and out of opportunities for love. We meet friends and other couples facing the same things in their own songs: solos, duos, trios; we even meet a whole tap dancing troupe! (Something for everybody.) Favorite moments with Abe include the guy quartet romp where Abe gets lifted up for a ceiling kick; it worked great this time - he didn't hit the actual ceiling like he did in rehearsal! Sarah Reynolds' emo-meltdown on the couch was just one of the hilarious images - unforgettable! Jennie Jones' choreography was responsible for most of the story telling; I would call it fresh and real, inventive not contrived ,and set to the beat! Group moves are amazing when everyone is exactly the same; I enjoy tight synchronization when I see it. I liked the use of real-life objects, like dancing with a couch, choreographing a pillow or slipping in a cellphone. The surprise of the night was a filmed segment right after intermission, (well, after all, it IS a movie theater) featuring Jennie and Abe in a uniquely shot dream sequence (in my thoughts) of what it must be like to finally find that special relationship, with its turbulence, peace and oneness. Very touching, and as a short film, very worth retelling.

"And a good time was had by all!" I had to look at my program just now to remember about the music. "Oh, was THAT the song? "

I just remember the dance.

More to Come