For many of the students, getting out of school only a couple days before June 6 didn’t mean every second of the day could be spent at the beach. Rather, we spent our first week of summer break at the College of the Canyons theatre, and, truly, there was no better way to kick off the summer.
Theatre weeks are something all dancers know well. It’s the week where all our hard work for “Alice in Wonderland,” choreographed by Miss Pam, can finally be seen. It’s the week where we somehow get even closer to our friends. For some, it’s the last week they’ll be spending in the COC theater before leaving for college.
Theatre week, despite the long hours, is always a good week.
The first day is spent accustoming each dance to the stage. Some dances, like Chess Pieces, were more complex and required more time on stage. The next two days let the dancers familiarize themselves with the costumes and the amount of time they have in between dances. And, finally, on Saturday, the show begins.
Before Alice began, the seniors performed “Bye Bye Baby,” a five minute dance choreographed by Miss Carol to celebrate the time and dedication the seniors have given to the studio since they were little. The rest of us watched from the wings as each senior received a bouquet from Miss Corinne. I felt a mixture of sadness and pride for my friends who are seniors, and also the surreal (if not slightly cliche) thought that “that’s going to be me next year.” Time moves ridiculously fast, so, really, enjoy your time here.
Alice began shortly afterward, with Elida DeFazio as the lead role. Elida spent a lot of time in rehearsals, and those hours undoubtedly showed on the stage.
She follows the White Rabbit (Gianna Juliet) down the rabbit hole into Wonderland, where she meets a collection of familiar characters including the Mad Hatter and the Caterpillar. The eggs and the mushrooms charmed the audience with their costumes and just general adorableness. Their entrance was met by a chorus of ‘aww’s and applause both shows. The first act ended with the Queen of Hearts (Lauren Hart) nearly executing Alice for painting the royal roses red, only for Alice to faint and wake up next to her sister as if everything had been a dream. The next act had an equally exciting finish, with the Chess Pieces pushing Alice back into the mirror that had brought Alice back to Wonderland for a second time.
Alice, of course, got the loudest applause from the audience when she took her bow. After the curtain closed, a collective cheer goes up from all the dancers, celebrating yet another wonderful June show.