Saturday, September 15, 2018

The Shift

 I went to a tech rehearsal for The Shift at the Mandell Theater in the John and Rita Lowndes Shakespeare Center (812 E Rollins St, Orlando, FL 32803). Larissa Humiston the founder of Emotions Dance was in the lighting booth helping set the lighting cues. I thought I was just sketching an Emotions Dance Company rehearsal but I got to experience so much more.

 The Shift is an annual production that showcases work from professional companies and up and coming choreographers in the Central Florida area. The goal of The Shift is to showcase new works to the Central Florida Community in the spirit of collaboration and exploration of dance as an art form.

The first dance consisted of a troupe of female dancers in black Flamenco dresses with white polka dot frill.  They all moved in graceful synchronous movements and I struggled just to catch one or two dancers. When they spun, their dresses billowed out. During their second run through a small army of young dancers filled the theater seats. They quickly got into costumes and soon where on stage. Some dancers were as young as 5 years old up to maybe 18 years old. They performed to music with a tribal beat and the youngest of them gyrated with stunning athleticism. The choreographer was in the front row to encourage them to push themselves.

Four dancers in black suits and black fedoras danced with Bob Fosse exaggeration to a Michael Jackson song. Their faces were hidden behind the brim of the hat and to begin their chests heaved as if to the sound of their own heart beats. One dancer in particular seemed to have that extra polish that caused me to pause and just watch. None of the acts were in order, each dance company took to the stage when they arrived and then they would file out. It was an exciting and energetic evening that proved that Orlando will keep Dancing.

Showcasing work from the following professional companies and individuals:
Aretuza's Ballerina Project
Florida Dance Theatre
Emotions Dance Inc
Ellie Vie Co
Crawford Jazz Project
Marshall Ellis Dance
Still Moving Dance
Vincent Sanrocco Dance
Inez Patricia School of Dance
Tori Sarau
CG and Dancers
Thomas Wilkins

The final performance of The Shift is tonight, Saturday September 15, 2018 at 7:30pm in the Mandell Theater in the Orlando Shakes (812 E Rollins St, Orlando, FL 32803).
Tickets which are available at the door are
General Admission- $20
Students/Seniors (65+)- $15

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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