PINE BUSH – The Auditorium in Pine Bush High School on January 31 was the scene for the first Strictly Talent Dance Competition of 2009. The event was hosted by the Mitchell Performing Arts Company of Pine Bush.
Dancers competed in four divisions — lyrical, ballet, musical theatre and hip-hop — and there were several stunning performances.
Crowd favorite Mikaela DePaola managed to compete in three divisions, lyrical, ballet and hip-hop, which demonstrates something amazing about the flexibility of modern dance.
Lovely performances by Kelsey Duerr, Jessica Aronowitz, and Devin Columbus in the lyrical section got things rolling. Then in ballet, the trio from the New York Ballet Institute, Anabel Katsnelson, Elizabeth Berger, and Arianna Khieninson stole the show with their "Meditacion," demonstrating some exquisite dancing "en pointe." Later they won the award for "Most Professional" performance.
Excellent performances from Mikaela DePaola and Sophia Cilione with their "Allegretto" and Emily Densley with her "Rhapsody Paganini" were also well received.
In the musical theatre division, Jessica Aronowitz and David Lehman performed a lively "Paper Moon."
And then in the jazz section, the "World of Dance" troupe from Saugerties took over the stage for "As I Am."
Last, but far from least, was the hip-hop division, which also brought a wide range of different approaches to the stage. The two members of Krump Squad — Elliot Hernandez and Earl Allen — won the "Most Entertaining" award as well as a First Prize for their slick routine, which received a big response from the audience too.
The Young Hip Divas "Lose Control" and C.H.I.C.K. with "Boys" took off into very different zones, demonstrating how diverse the hip-hop universe has become. C.H.I.C.K. brought a mixed media approach too, with a slide show projecting stark images and words on the screen behind them, while they danced. World of Dance finished things off with their "Hip-Hop Mix" which won them a First Prize.
The next Strictly Talent competition is slated for November 2009.
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