BERNARDSVILLE, NJ - A live dance performance titled, Let’s Dance (Whatever It Takes!) was recently held at the Bernardsville Polo Grounds. The show, directed by Phoebe Ballard, celebrated the talents of local Somerset County high school age dancers and showcased three pieces that never had the chance to be performed in front of a live audience due to COVID-19. The event also doubled as a fundraiser for the Black Youth Project, an organization committed to highlighting the voices and ideas of Black millennials.
Ballard, the director of the show, is a local freelance choreographer and dance educator. She said, “when things began being canceled in March, I recognized my deep desire to give my students, especially the seniors, a chance to dance together and for an audience, one last time.”
The show opened with a large ensemble piece made up of a cast of sixteen powerful movers. This dance was not choreographed, it was fully improvised. The dancers followed a score that has been rehearsed both online and in person, filling in different movements each time it is embodied.
The second piece on the program, (Here’s To) All You’re Going to Be, was a new dance set to the music of Sharon Van Etten. Originally created with a cast of fourteen but performed with a cast of eight, this dance exemplified the joy and beauty in the simply complicated act of growing up.
The final work of the evening, back to (let’s go from there), was a duet performed by Quinn Cappiello and Rose Hinoul. Originally shown at Liberty Hall Dance Festival at Kean University as well as in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Texas, this dance celebrates trust, connection, and the beauty of friendship through movement.