On Wednesday evening, more than a dozen Renton dancers moved in unison around a bank of ordinary folding chairs. On Saturday, April 21, the girls will be joined by siblings, parents and grandparents — in addition to dozens of other area dancers — for a collaborative piece called “The Chair Spectacle.”
Saturday’s performance is part of the opening festivities of The Next 50 Festival, a six-month celebration of the 1962 World’s Fair’s golden anniversary at Seattle Center.
This performance is like nothing else the girls have done before. Normally they dance on a stage and don’t include props. And their parents are usually watching, and no joining in on the performance.
Spotlight Dancer Madelyn Brown explained that her father, Tim, decided to take part because the anniversary year also coincides with his 50th birthday. Brown’s two sisters will also be in the performance.
Dancers Alyssa Fung and her younger sister, Sammy, are also excited about this rare opportunity.
“It’s unique because there are a lot of different ages,” Alyssa said, adding that participants range from 6-years-old to grandparents.
Directed by award-winning choreographer Pat Graney, The Chair Spectacle will include hundreds of people dressed in white and moving in unison on and around white chairs placed around the International Fountain. All participants will be dressed in white. The dancers practiced in smaller groups and will come together this weekend to perform The Chair Spectacle together in what is known as a “movement choir.” The performance will be set to actual recorded sounds from the 1962 World’s Fair, including the Ferris wheel, radio advertisements and popular songs of the era.
“Ms. Graney traveled to Renton herself to observe a recent rehearsal which was quite a treat for our aspiring dancers,” said Amanda Records, owner of Spotlight Dance & Performing Arts Center.
The Dance Center has four performing companies that perform in and around Renton. Watch for them at the Spring Festival in May at the Piazza. Last year the performance companies appeared at Renton River Days and won first place in the parade for children's division, at the Kent 4th of July Splash, Kent Cornucopia Days, Renton Harvest Festival, Renton Art Walk, Renton Farmers market and Girlfest at Centurylink Event Center.