If you happened to be in lower Manhattan on June 9 and 10th, specifically Tribeca, you may have noticed the streets were conspicuously free of children between the ages of about 2 to 14. That’s because nearly the entire neighborhood and parts north, south, east and west were all busy shakin’ what their mamas gave ‘em at the Third Annual Downtown Dance Factory Recital at BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts Center (TPAC).
The hottest ticket in town for the third year in a row took place over two days with 4 shows for a whopping 81 dances. There were bumblebees and b-boys, supermodels and street tappers, footballers, a Snow White and a dozen Dorothys. A bevy Bonds, James Bonds, and a myriad of Michael Jacksons and Madonnas were on hand making it difficult to determine if we were still in Tribeca or had landed in Vegas!
The BMCC TPAC big stage was a universe unto itself showcasing the very best talent among the small set, with just about every dance genre across all ages presented to the audience’s delight. From the tiniest dancer who said “hi mommy,” as the lights went up, and the one who nearly exited stage front, to the more experienced dancers leaping and backflipping across the stage with such speed and accuracy, they elicited gasps from the audience—to call it spectacular, would be an understatement.
With so many kids of varying ages (the smallest of them being held and cuddled by teachers during intermission), one would think, and almost expect there would be meltdowns and chaos all around. Instead, from rehearsals to the big day(s), this show ticked like a Broadway production. Each dance flowed like water into the next. The emcee’s soothing voice prepared us for each transport to a different time and place, from Midnight in Paris, to a 1969 livingroom Rubberneckin’ with Elvis, we were entertained beyond expectation. The costumes were expertly chosen and suited each performance to a tee. The lighting enhanced every step and every facial expression. The music and energy had the audience stomping, clapping and grooving in their seats. We even caught one parent taking the lyrics “Teach Me How to Dougie” literally, as she hit up DDF co-founder Hanne Larsen’s extremely gifted son Atticus, for a quick lesson between shows!
This season’s recital was truly an extravaganza, with a finale for the ages. Nothing gets New Yorkers more excited than a song about their town and when it’s a medley from Alicia Keys to the Beastie Boys to Sinatra…and our kids are singing and dancing their little hearts out in the aisles and on stage…fuhgeddaboutit! Not a dry eye in the house! Well done DDF. Well done.