On June 26, playing to a near sold out auditorium at Christ the King High School, the Stanford Dance Studio celebrated their 40th anniversary with their production of “Fabulous at 40.” The show promised to be one of the most exciting, colorful and entertaining productions in their 40 year history and they were right.
As the overture played the auditorium lit up with special effects lighting that changed colors to complement each dance. The curtain then opened and Michelle Napolitano-Schwartz, Greg Sinacori, Susan Cardamone, Tiffany DeFalco and Gina Masullo, led the junior, senior and alumni advanced jazz classes in a fun, exciting and colorful number titled “Brand New Day.” The dancers, all dressed in sequined gold costumes, came to life and danced in, through and around an enormous picture frame which started the show off on the right foot.
The nursery classes this year stole the show with their big smiles, adorable costumes and difficult dance moves performed without the aid of their instructors. Such numbers as “Lollipop,” “Ballerina Girls” and “Shake Your Tail Feather,” brought the audience to a thunderous applause.
This year the advanced tap and hip-hop numbers, showed the versatility of the students performing in a wide range of genres from today’s hits like “Get Low” and “Sexy Chicks” to oldies but goodies like Broadway’s Tony award-winning tap classic “42nd Street.”
“Pirates At Sea,” took the audience on a journey through the high seas with a production of over 40 students dancing with seven foot oars, chains and pirate flags. This number was truly a spectacle to watch and brought the audience to their feet
Closing the first act was an outstanding star-studded production number titled “Divas.” The Stanford dancers showed off their skills in jazz and hip-hop as they brought to the stage musical performances by Madonna, Fergie, Tina Turner and Beyonce. With over 50 of the Stanford dancers filling the stage there was no better way to close the first act then with a production of this magnitude.
The Stanford Studio came back in Act II with many more surprises. They kicked off the act with a beautiful junior ballet number titled “Wish Upon A Star,” followed by an intricate junior hip-hop dance, “Drama Queens.” The studio is known for training their students in many different styles of dance and this year was no exception.
Other highlights of Act II were the precision tap numbers like “Jailhouse Rock” and “Dancin’ Fool,” the sexy productions from “Chicago” and “Nine,” the beautifully moving “Via Dolorosa,” a very emotional and dramatic contemporary piece titled “Gravity” and a glow-in-the-dark visually stimulating fantasy “Moe’s Art,” which ended with a ballerina suspended high above the rest of the dancers on the stage.
This year for the 40th anniversary, the studio started an alumni class which was comprised of students who had danced at the studio in the past. Some of the students in the class had been with the studio for 25 years. Under the direction of Susan Cardamone they revived such classics as “I’m a Woman” and “Blow the Speakers” which brought back many memories for those dancing as well as for the audience.
Another new edition to the Stanford Studio this year was the creation of the area’s first all boy hip-hop dance crew. The Stanford Boyz performed a mix of music from Chris Brown, Lil John and Run DMC. The Boyz’ ranging in age from 6-12, brought the audience to their feet with thunderous applause and truly stole the show.
Closing such an exciting evening full of showstopping numbers must not have been an easy task, but the Stanford Studio succeeded in bringing the audience one of their biggest, brightest and most colorful production numbers yet. With choreography by Michelle Napolitano-Schwartz and Greg Sinacori, the entire studio and staff along with guest stars Joann Krudis and Michael Brincat brought good old Baltimore in the 1960s back to life in this outstanding production. Complete with life-sized houses and over-the-top costumes and wigs, over 60 of the Stanford students danced their hearts out in their final number “You Can’t Stop The Beat.”
ýhe dancers truly outdid themselves this year in creating one of the most exciting and entertaining recitals the Queens area has ever seen. Congratulations to Michelle Napolitano-Schwartz, the staff and all the amazing students at the Stanford Studio for a job really well done.
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