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Dickens of a dance: Local troupes collaborate

December 4, 2009
By JOHANNA BOYLE Journal Ishpeming Bureau

MARQUETTE - Ebenezer Scrooge sits at his desk, counting his money while employee Bob Cratchit sits freezing because his employer is too cheap to buy more coal for the fire. A chorus of orphans enters the stage, singing carols and scatter as Scrooge yells at them.

It seems a normal performance of "A Christmas Carol," until Cratchit begins break dancing.

"Ebenezer Scrooge: Jazzed Up Like the Dickens" is a retelling of the classic Christmas story, told mainly through dance, presented by the Marquette Arts and Culture Center and the Second Skin Shop.

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"It's a holiday dance show in the spirit of 'The Nutcracker,'" said Nikke Nason, co-producer of the show. Camilla Mingay of the Second Skin Shop is also co-producing.

And while "The Nutcracker" is all ballet, "Scrooge" is everything mixed together. The production combines over 80 dancers from dance companies and organizations from around Marquette County and one from the eastern Upper Peninsula.

With separate dances choreographed by the companies performing in them, the production showcases dancers from Northern Michigan University, the Beladinas, the Marquette Folk Dancers, New Attitudes Dance Studio, the Superior Dance Academy, the Marquette Center for Dance, Dawn Dott Dance Studio and Lake Superior State University.

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"There's pretty much every style of dance in it," Nason said. "All the dance studios in town were involved.

"It's a way to get the dance companies together and get them to showcase their talents."

Performers range from preschool students up through retirees and the different scenes of the familiar story are told through modern music like "Chain of Fools" and "Thriller."

Local vocal talents Emily McGlone and Adam Whittington will also take part in the production.

Last year, a similar collaboration between the various dance companies resulted in a production of "The Nutcracker." Since the musical "Scrooge" was not being performed at NMU this year, Nason said the dance version of the show seemed like a good choice.

"It was kind of natural, we've got to do this," Nason said. "This was nice because it gave us the opportunity to incorporate every style of dance.

Shows run on Saturday at 1p.m. and 7 p.m. at Kaufman auditorium. Tickets are for sale at the Marquette Arts and Culture Center Gallery gift shop in the lower level of the Peter White Public Library or at the door. Cost is $7 for children and $10 for adults if bought in advance, $10 for children and $13 for adults if purchased at the door. Seating is reserved.



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