Published: August 22, 2019
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By: Kara Olander, Columbia College Chicago
Category: Creative & Performance
Hashtags: #Dance #dancechoreography #Musical #musicalperformance #musicals
Show People is a number that I choreographed in the musical "Curtains", performed by Elmbrook Theater.
Being the first musical in which I've choreographed the entirety of the show, "Curtains" was truly a dream realized. Having always been on stage prior to this project, being on the other side of the curtain was an incredibly fulfilling and enlightening experience. While there's nothing that can quite match the feeling of watching an ensemble perform your work with a smile on their face, the process of getting to this point was the most invaluable of all. The production was no cut in aims of inclusivity, which, while I admired this about the production, I also knew it would present a challenge. For a moment I was stressed about working 30+ kids into the larger ensemble numbers, especially considering that some were almost afraid to dance. However, by the end of the run, the kids who were worried at first ended up being the ones with the biggest smiles on their faces when dancing on stage. When congratulating them after the show, they thanked me for taking a chance on them-- this caught me off guard as I hadn't thought once about not having them dance. It was at this moment that I was reminded of why we perform. To an audience member, it may just be a small Wisconsin theater, but to one of the kids, it may be their only place of positivity, support, and acceptance. Though my job was to teach them, the performers in the show taught me to have balance, keep integrity, and express appreciation whenever you can.