Considering Maui Arts & Cultural Center's featured artists, Maui Academy of Performing Arts' Ampersand, Adaptations Dance Theater, the Alexander Academy and Seabury Hall - dance is flourishing on Maui this theatrical season.
Next up is Rhythmic Circus' "Feet Don't Fail Me Now," a dynamic tap and music performance that mixes hard-hitting, percussive dance with a live rock band and a one-man beat-box phenomenon, Aaron "Heatbox" Heaton. Frequently compared to "Stomp," "Feet" is a genre-hopping hour-and-a-half of rock, blues, soul, rapid-fire tap and the big, brass sound of a seven-piece band.
Rhythmic Circus, self-described as "home-grown hoofers" from the Minneapolis performing arts scene, has received praise from media across the United States. There's a cappella singing, a front porch down-home tap jam session and "Circus," which has the dancers, decked out in colorful marching band attire, joined by the musicians in an intense, fast-paced number that features a tuba solo and tap breakdowns.
Ricci Milan (from left), Kaleena Miller, Galen Higgins and Nick Bowman will turn it up during “Feet Don’t Fail Me Now.”
Photo courtesy Maui Arts & Cultural Center
Professional ballet dancer Nathaniel Hunt will join the Alexander Academy cast as Prince Siegfried and Kihei’s Hanna Claerbout will portray Odette, the Queen of the Swans.
Scott Drexler Photography
"We created 'Feet Don't Fail Me Now' out of the desire to get people back in touch with the spirit of celebration. The show helps remind our audiences that there is always a reason to get up, let go and dance," said co-creator Nick Bowman. "The name of our show comes from an old New Orleans chant dating back to the early 1900s - a time when the city was rich with culture and spirit - they literally had parades every Sunday just to celebrate their lives and community."
Under the direction of Ricci Milan and Bowman, Rhythmic Circus (Galen Higgins, Kaleena Miller, Milan and Bowman) has been choreographing and performing together since 2000. "Feet Don't Fail Me Now" premiered in Minneapolis in 2008 and has gone on to tour nationally, including a 25-show run in New York City, and internationally, with shows in China and Scotland, where they received the 2012 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Spirit of the Fringe Award.
Don't miss Rhythmic Circus in "Feet Don't Fail Me Now!" - a sensational blend of theater, music and dance. Performance is 7:30 p.m. Friday in Maui Arts & Cultural Center's Castle Theater. Tickets range from $12 to $42 (plus applicable fees), with half price for kids 12 and younger. To purchase tickets for any MACC event, visit the box office, call 242-7469 or order online at www.mauiarts.org.
Alexander Academy Performing Company stages one full-length production on Maui each year to showcase the talents of more than 150 dancers, ranging in age from 3 to adult.
"We are known for our strong ballet department, but we have proven our versatility with exciting contemporary works as well," Director of the Alexander Academy Performing Company Danelle Watson says. "Our productions exhibit the variety of dance styles taught at the academy, which have been very successful and esteemed by our Maui audiences." This weekend, AAPC will present Tchaikovsky's "Swan Lake." Special to this year's production is professional ballet dancer Nathaniel Hunt as Prince Siegfried. Hunt graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor's degree in dance from Long Island University-Brooklyn and has studied at the Ailey School, Earl Mosley's Institute for the Arts and the Joffrey Ballet School.
" 'Swan Lake' is one of the most famous yet challenging ballets to perform, given its complex choreography and multiple lead roles," Watson says. "We are extremely excited to provide our advanced dancers with the opportunity to partner with a male lead onstage and have our talented corps de ballet perform such beautiful, intricate choreography. We strive for a professional experience for all our students, and it shows with the quality of our annual productions."
AAPC's mission is to provide quality dance instruction and guest teacher workshops, and to present performance opportunities for the dancers of Maui to share their accomplishments with the community. Before each show and during intermission, AAPC will host silent auctions featuring items from local businesses and artists. Proceeds from the silent auctions help offset "Swan Lake" production costs.
Tchaikovsky's "Swan Lake," performed by AAPC, directed by Danelle Watson and starring Nathaniel Hunt, will take the stage at 2 and 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Seabury Hall's A'ali'ikuhonua Creative Arts Center in Makawao. Tickets range from $10 to $30. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.alexanderacademy.info.
ALSO THIS WEEKEND
The Maui Academy of Performing Arts has extended "Fiddler on the Roof" starring Gary Shin-Leavitt, with music by Jerry Bock, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick, book by Joseph Stein and direction by David Johnston. Performances are 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays, through March 22 in Steppingstone Playhouse at Queen Ka'ahumanu Center. Tickets range from $18 to $24. For more information or to purchase, call 244-8760 or visit www.mauiacademy.org.
Don't miss Maui OnStage's final weekend of "La Cage aux Folles," based on the French play by Jean Poiret and starring Bob Wills and Steven Dascoulias, with music and lyrics by Jerry Herman, book by Harvey Fierstein and direction by Alexis Dascoulias. Performances are 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday at the Historic Iao Theater in Wailuku. Cost ranges from $17 to $28. To purchase tickets, call 242-6969 or visit www.mauionstage.com.
Join the Maui Academy of Performing Arts for "Shaken & Stirred: A Murder Mystery Party," an unforgettable evening of intrigue and entertainment with "James Blonde 008." The third annual Murder Mystery Gala and fundraiser includes cabaret, dinner, drinks and, of course, a mystery to solve from 6 to 10 p.m. March 28 at the King Kamehameha Golf Club in Waikapu. Tickets are $150 per person and available by calling 244-8760. For more information visit www.mauiacademy.org.
Catch a "Sneak Peek," of the 2014-15 season at Maui OnStage's fourth annual fundraiser event. A full evening of music, cocktails, dinner and sneak peek performances from five upcoming theatrical productions will kick off from 5 to 9 p.m. Saturday, March 29, at Aloha Aku, a Kihei oceanfront estate. Tickets are $125 per person; call 244-8680 or visit www.mauionstage.com.