September 26th, 2016

A different point of view — students enjoy calling the shots for Putting on the Ritz


By Lethbridge Herald on December 2, 2014.

Student dancers leap from the stage as they run through a number from Chinook High School Dance Program’s Puttin’ on the Ritz, set to run from today to Thursday at the school’s Media Centre.Student dancers leap from the stage as they run through a number from Chinook High School Dance Program’s Puttin’ on the Ritz, set to run from today to Thursday at the school’s Media Centre.

Nick Kuhl
Lethbridge Herald
nkuhl@lethbridgeherald.com
They’ve been in school productions before, but usually don’t get to provide much directorial input.
For “Putting on the Ritz,” opening tonight at Chinook High School’s Media Centre, though, Grade 12 students Kirsten Wiersma and Julia Dzurka had the chance to be the show’s choreographers.
“It’s really amazing to see what goes on backstage and how I can deal with it from another point of view,” said Dzurka, who will also be in two of the dances.
“I learned it takes a little bit longer to try to teach other people what you see. I understand where teachers are coming from, now.”
About 45 students will take part in “Putting on the Ritz,” which is based on a talk show format and will showcase the Chinook High School Dance Program, highlighting different dance styles including modern, lyrical, jazz, and hip hop.
Playing the role of talk show host is Grade 11 student Riley Maass, who said he’s used to more dramatic fare, but is excited to branch out into a dance show.
“It’s been a good time. I’ve met people that I’ve never talked to before and I’ve just gotten to interact with a whole other side of the school,” Maass said.
“It’s a really unique show and I’m really glad to be a part of it. The whole show is set up like it’s a talk show and the dancers are the guests. Every now and then, I do a monologue talking about different styles of dance and where dance originates from.”
Dzurka said she’s been working on the project for several months and has enjoyed her first experience behind the scenes. She also hopes to contribute in a similar capacity during a show next semester.
“The production has definitely been more about trying to find what students are really in to and what they enjoy. It’s really fun to be able to work with everyone,” Dzurka said.
“It’s more than what I envisioned it would be. Everybody has just become so close. They’ve really come to understand how much we as choreographers really care about the show, and they’re showing they really care as well.”
“Putting on the Ritz” will run nightly at 7 p.m. until Thursday at Chinook High School’s Media Centre.

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