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Humorous romp targets children

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RIRIE-WOODBURY DANCE COMPANY, "On the Move," Jan. 9, Capitol Theatre; public performances Jan. 11, 7:30 p.m., and Jan. 12, 2 p.m. Tickets available through ArtTix at 355-ARTS.

The Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company has created a new children's show that will have young ones and their parents tapping their feet.

"On the Move," which was created this year, follows Mr. On d'Move (Gigi Arrington) on a journey through grooves and moods of all kinds.

It's a humorous romp that will definitely pique children's interest in live theatrical art. This show isn't composed of just speechless repertory. There is spoken text that sets up such visual punch lines as dancing mannequins, discotheques and dog walkers.

For the most part, the program works. Arrington's character, whose interludes were directed by Mark Huffman, choreographer for Opryland productions, managed to transfix Wednesday's audience — which was comprised of students from various elementary schools around the valley. Mr. On d'Move was funny and animated.

The music ranged from classical Tchaikovsky to the dance mixes of Wise Guys, and it made room for the young dance company's endless energy.

While some adults will enjoy seeing their children enchanted by the action on stage, the performance is obviously geared toward the younger crowd.

The use of shadows during a window-washing segment during Shirley Ririe's "Window Washers" and some amazingly limber falls during co-artistic director Joan Woodbury's "Crutch" are some of the production's delightful visuals. And the kids got a kick out of Loa Clawson's "Heel" and "oohed and ahhed" during Gram Lustig's "Stardust."

The Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company continues to reach out to young audiences with "On the Move." And it's nice to know there are family oriented performances that incorporate creativeness in this day of dumbed-down Hollywood entertainment.


E-MAIL: scott@desnews.com