The O School Recital brings fresh perspectives to the dance stage.
|CN PHOTO: Enrique Yang
O School’s recital this year, held from Nov. 20 to 21, saw yet another exuberant performance from the school’s 250 students and instructors, but it wasn’t merely good. The creative, out-of-the-box concept lifted the benchmark to a, shall we say, sky-high level.
Set against the backdrop of an airplane flight, the show began with a safety demonstration which involved unforeseen panic attacks—to hilarious effect. Diving into the sea during water landings also gave opportunity for some artistic display.
The in-flight entertainment number was one of the most entertaining among the list of crowd-pleasers that night. In the horror segment, the dancers cleverly used the dance style of popping and locking to create disjointed and abstract body forms. Fused with their twisted facial expressions, the effect was akin to the zombie scene in Michael Jackson’s classic music video Thriller—except these zombies exuded a more Eastern connotation, in the vein of the Chinese vampire.
As with the sequence of a real-life flight, the next natural agenda followed—meal time. The dancers put up a “sumptuous” performance which consisted of waacking (a ’70s dance style focusing on dynamic arm movements) and Broadway dance styles. The first half featured stylish, modern women in office wear in cheeky red and black hues. The latter half took on a bewitching tone as other dancers, adorned with lace stockings and corset tops in the same colors, wowed the audience with their sharp, sassy movements.
Following the end of the in-flight meal was a short intermission, where the Captain “turned off” the seatbelt lights and encouraged everyone to make a trip to the duty free store to purchase exclusive dance recital merchandise.
Over the intercom, the Captain suddenly announced that the place was going through turbulence—to the whooping cheers and roars of the audience. O Crew, which comprised the school’s instructors, demonstrated the landing procedure—a mind-blowing 25-minute performance, segmented into different skits and dance genres.
Before the curtains came down, the instructors unveiled a surprise for the dancers—a short thanksgiving video. Beyond being taken aback, the students were touched by the heartwarming gesture, as they listened to the instructors expressing their gratitude to them.
Ryan Tan, 37, director of O School and the producer for the dance recital added, “This year’s recital was really brought to a new level in many ways—there are more dancers this year and the improvement that they have made since the auditions is astonishing. Without the combined effort of all the dancers, all this wouldn’t have been possible.”