BWW Reviews: Eva Dean Underwhelms with PETER PAN AND THE STARDUST DANCES
I would be lying if I didn't say I was a bit disappointed by Peter Pan and the Stardust Dances, performed by Eva Dean Dance. As part of the lineup for the famous New York International Fringe Festival, which has put forth some amazing pieces of dance and theater, my expectations and excitement were high headed into this performance. Unfortunately, this show for children did not deliver.
I excused the poor dancing and sloppy technique in the first act of the show, which was a performance of Peter Pan. I blamed the low releves, loud landings from leaps, and flexed feet on the playful nature of Peter Pan. I believed the childish dancing to be part of the characters that the dancers were portraying. However, as the next act began to the odd music choice of Spider Pig- yes, that Spider Pig, I realized that the dancing throughout the show would not be above par. Besides that, the title of the show was misleading, since only the first of five acts was related to Peter Pan, which caused a few members of the audience to actually leave the performance halfway through.
The amateur dancing, however, can be overlooked, since this show is aimed toward children more than adults. The small theater, only five rows of seats high, was completely sold out, and the audience was filled mostly with children under the age of ten, so they were certainly not judging the level of dancing they witnessed. And as a few young boys and girls danced their way out of the theater after the show, I knew the performers had done their purpose. They had entertained these youngsters and inspired them to dance. For the parents in the audience, however, the show was not nearly as enjoyable.
I must admit that a few entertaining moments came during the use of floating lanterns and yoga balance balls. The lit and colorful lanterns were twirled like ribbons or batons, creating a hypnotizing light show that was fast and impressive. I was able to appreciate the brilliant light show made up of blue, pink and red, creating a rainbow of colors. The effortless rolling, sliding, spinning, and standing atop the moving balance ball was also enjoyable to watch. Klara Beyeler, who played Wendy in Act One, impressed in the final act by standing on top of the ball while simultaneously spinning the floating lanterns around her. George Hirsch, who played Peter Pan, was also fun to watch as he glided across the stage in roller blades while blowing bubbles and juggling bouncy balls, moving as if he was on ice- hello new Summer Olympics sport!
If you have a youngster at home, you might want to bring him/her to the final performance of Peter Pan and the Stardust Dances on Wednesday, August 21st at 4 PM. Just prepare yourself for forty-five minutes of child's entertainment that you will most likely grow weary of. Many of the children, however, were delighted by the silliness of the performers and the fun props, such as bubbles, bouncy balls, and colorful lights. Tickets are only $15 and can be bought on-line at TicketWeb.com, or bought at the box office up to 15 minutes before the performance- cash only.
More On: dance, New York City, Eva Dean Dance, Peter Pan and the Stardust Dances