Monday, November 20, 2017


Presented by Legs Dance Studio
The Playhouse, Canberra Theatre Centre, 18th November 2017.

Reviewed by Bill Stephens

Around this time of the year local dance studios present their annual showcases displaying the work their students have prepared throughout the year. Canberra is fortunate to have a number of very good dance schools, and among the best of these is Legs Dance Studio which never fails to impress with its annual showcase.

This year, Legs presented their showcase in the Playhouse theatre, because “Mamma Mia” is ensconced in the Canberra Theatre but although the theatre may have been smaller, the production was no less extravagant than previous years,  with literally hundreds of young dancers, from toddlers to seniors, participating  enthusiastically in a succession of lavishly costumed production numbers as bluebirds, mice, butterflies, bees, gnomes , pumpkins, gingerbread men, and of course, any number of princesses.

Legs dancers perform "What The World Needs Now" 
The opening number for
"Cinderella and other Fractured Fairytales"

The theme this year was “Cinderella and other Fractured Fairy tales”.  “Cinderella” took up most of the first half, which commenced with a stunning opening sequence with the dancers costumed in glittering show-girl costumes.  With a funny, tongue-in-cheek, voice-over narration to keep the audience on top of the story details, Legs 2016 Dancer of the Year, Jessica Potter, was practically perfect as Cinderella. Matilda Ellicott, Emma Gaynor and Heidi Birkby had the audience in stitches being as nasty as possible as the wicked stepmother and her two daughters, and John Truscott was a very handsome Prince Rupert. Ethan Darrow however, almost stole the show with his expressive face and dancing as the Kings enthusiastic adviser.

Snippets of “Alice in Wonderland”, “Rapunzel”, “Little Red Riding Hood” and  “Beauty and the Beast”, and even “The Adams Family” and  “Mamma Mia” were included in the second part of the show, along with well-drilled, award-winning routines which displayed  the mastery of the students in ballet, tap, acrobatics, jazz, hip hop, and cheerleading. The dad’s got in on the act with their Super Heroes routine, and The Dream Team was featured in a number called “Belly of the Whale”. 

The fast-moving presentation, with its excellent costuming, inventive choreography and fastidious production values, was a miracle of stage management. The 50 separate items involving hundreds of dancers, and myriads of costumes and props, followed each other in quick succession, seemingly without a hitch. The result was a memorable, entertaining presentation which highlighted superbly the quality of the school and its teaching staff. 

Legs Dancers perform "What The World Need Now"
"Cinderella and other Fractured Fairytales"