On Jan. 20, 2024, Strike Time Dance Company put on a fabulous performance titled “Dancing Through the Pages,” a multimedia production combining dancing, Dr. Seuss and drawing lessons (among other things) for an immensely creative show and an all-around good time.
The show began with Aiden Prince (‘26) coming onstage as the narrator of the production, walking the audience through the synthesis of a creative homework assignment, a framing device for the whole performance as well as for the first piece, titled “Pen & Ink.” This began with a little drawing lesson, projecting a video onstage of some sketching techniques. The whole dance team proceeded to abstractly mimic the different types of pencil strokes via their movements to the compositions of Debussy, Bartok and Bach.
Next came “When the Sun and Moon are in the Sky,” a surrealist performance that personified the sun, the moon and water. Cosmic intrigue ensued, as Kaleigh Estby (‘26) as the embodiment of water, floated and glided around the center of the stage while Paige Augustyn (‘25) and Hannah Marino (‘25), who represented the Sun and the Moon, danced around the sidelines. The whole piece was backed by jazz percussion and spoken-word narration which gave words to the mythological motions onstage. It was a convoluted experience, but the hazy and intense atmosphere worked well.
Following this, Prince grabbed a comically large copy of There’s a Wocket in My Pocket by Dr. Seuss, and read passages from it. At the same time, all of the dancers took to the floor in fluorescent costumes, moving in a manner to portray the colorful characters in the classic children’s book. It was a delight to watch the goofiness that unfolded due to the interpretive dance based on a book of made-up words. Fittingly, one of the songs backing this piece was titled, “Precision Clownage,” a phrase that also sums up this performance quite nicely.
Continuing with the theme of dancing to the words of silly poetry, the next subject explored through interpretive movement was Shel Silverstein’s Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me Too, this time set to the tune of “Married Life” by Michael Giacchino (which may be better known as “the song from the movie Up”). In contrast to the previous number, this piece was dominated by a muted color palette and a slower tempo, a much-needed cooldown, and chance for the audience to catch their breath after the Seuss shenanigans. Marino and Prince joined Ella Titcomb (‘26) for this one, winding their way around the stage while visuals of the titular characters in a flying boot were projected behind them.
The night ended with “The Lost Beats of Rhythm City,” a performance that truly needed to be seen to be believed. Operating on the concept of a city whose very societal framework is built upon tap-dancing, Augustyn, Estby and Sarra LaCour (‘26) danced in between frames set up with the lights focused strategically to make it feel like a live-action comic book. Prince would interject every now and then to add narration and change the rules of this fictional city, incorporating a strong theme of self-belief as a means to achieving goals as opposed to bringing others down. “Rhythm City” was intricate and impressive in how the dancers manipulated such a layered environment to great effect.
As the beats of Rhythm City faded out, all of the dancers took a bow and fluttered offstage. Overall, “Dancing Through the Pages” was a great experience, with a variety of different styles and stories to keep the whole audience enthusiastically engaged, children and adults alike. The crowd produced loud cheers and clapping at the end of (and sometimes in the middle of) each performance. It was a performance that just about anyone could enjoy, and the whole Strike Time Dance Company should pat themselves on the back for a job well done.