Friday, February 3, 2012

Theatre review: "Why I'm Scared of Dance" at City Theatre

Actress, theatre company founder and sometime dancer Jen Childs briefly takes over the Hamburg Studio stage at City Theatre for a charming, lightweight entertainment Why I’m Scared of Dance. She wrote it.

Her seemingly autobiographical piece resembles one of those monologues for which people like Spalding Grey and John Leguizamo became renowned, bordering on the edges of stand up comedy. Except that Childs rarely stands still. Focusing on her feelings about the glamour, artistry and hard work of being a dancer, she illustrates with just about any kind of step and routine you can imagine. And some that may never have occurred to you. She does all of this with skill, style and personality plus a few elemental costumes and props. She does that with appealing samples of many kinds of music.

Her premise is that, from childhood on, she always wanted to be a dancer, but didn’t have the nerve, the training and the aptitude. She spins off from that, good-naturedly, humorously revealing some of her more elemental feelings while increasingly adding more and more skillful routines.

Expressing the joy of dancing, she and director Harriet Power have created a friendly experience.

Why I’m Scared of Dance whirls only on February 3rd, 4th, 5th, 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th at City Theatre 1300 Bingham Street, South Side 412/431-2489

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