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Post Independent/Kelley Cox
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Casey Beauchamp’s dance career is spinning in all the right directions.This weekend, the Glenwood Dance Academy breakdance instructor performs the lead role of Simba in the spring production of “The Lion King Dances.” Beauchamp incorporates contemporary moves, including the expressive Capoeira, often called the dance of war, into his dance fight scene with Carla Ober, who plays his enemy, Uncle Scar.”In Capoeira, there’s a lot of floor moves similar to breakdancing,” said Beauchamp, the 22-year-old self-taught breakdancer. “It should be an entertaining show for just about anyone who comes to watch. There will be something for everybody.”Beauchamp and the academy’s dancers, along with the Danse Arts Theatre Company professional dance troupe members, perform the “The Lion King Dances” and “A Springtime Performance” through the weekend.Today and Saturday’s shows at 7:30 p.m. feature Danse Arts’ members performing classical ballet variations, including pieces from Giselle, Sylvia and Don Quixote, and Bob Fosse jazz dances. “The Lion King Dances” matinees at 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday include the academy’s 125 students, as well as Danse Arts’ members. All shows take place at the Glenwood Springs High School auditorium.”Looks like a jungle in here, doesn’t it,” said DeAnna Anderson, co-owner of the academy and a Danse Arts artistic director, at Tuesday’s dress rehearsal. “It’s the first time we’ve put together a full production like this. It’s so much more fun to get caught up in storyline while you’re enjoying beautiful dance.”

As a dancer in the original “Cats” on Broadway, Anderson is well versed in putting on a major dance production. In their “The Lion King Dances” roles, dancers of all ages are dressed as monkeys, cheetahs, leopards, zebras and elephants for the full-scale production.”It’s pretty fun – the kids are all excited about what animal they’re going to be. They all got to pick,” said Ober, a ballet and modern dance teacher. “There’s a lot of different styles of dance, not really classical ballet, in the show. This is different because it’s a story. Most recitals don’t have a common theme (like ‘The Lion King Dances.’).”Ober is also a member of the Danse Arts Theatre Company, which is made up of six local professional dancers and guest artists. Last winter, she performed with the dance troupe for sold-out performances of “Excerpts from The Nutcracker,” a musical collaboration with Symphony in the Valley.”I danced for my whole life, then took about five years off,” said Ober, a registered nurse at Valley View Hospital. “I missed dance, so I decided to get back into it. I just missed the physicality of moving my body.”Growing up in Washington state, south of the British of Columbia, Ober danced with the Youth Performing Company. Ober’s most memorable performances involved the group’s tour in China.Dancing is a fairly new experience for Beauchamp, a Glenwood Springs native who is studying performance art in Boulder this fall. Beauchamp learned to breakdance at clubs in Boulder, which gave him the confidence to learn other forms of dance such as ballet, jazz, tap – and even Capoeira.

“I prefer urban contemporary dance, which is important in today’s society because a lot of younger kids don’t relate to classical dance. I think Capoeira is definitely a style kids could get into because they’ve seen it on TV and in movies,” he said. ” I would personally like to see more styles of dance introduced in the whole valley, get more youth involved. Not just the little ones, but middle- and high school-aged kids, too. Make it funkier, make this community of dance grow.”Contact April E. Clark: 945-8515, ext. 518aclark@postindependent.com



Who: Glenwood Dance Academy and Danse Arts Theatre Company dancersWhat: “A Springtime Performance” and “The Lion King Dances” When: today through SundayWhere: Glenwood Springs High School auditoriumHow much: Matinees $10/adults and $8/children; evening shows $15/ adults and $12/childrenInformation: 945-2717


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