Three different shows in two days.
“What was I thinking?” says Kris Cangelosi, whose Cangelosi Dance Project will be giving the performances — one on Friday and two on Saturday. “It’s been a challenge, but it’s our chance to feature everyone in different styles of dance, and it’s been worth it.”
The company opens its three-performance series with a specially choreographed dance to George Winston’s winter songs from his album “Winter Into Spring” at its “Holiday Mixture” on Friday. That performance will feature only professional company members.
At the “Holiday Classical” show at 2 p.m. Saturday, both professionals and children will take part, as they will in the “Holiday Sparkle” performance at 5 p.m. Saturday. All shows will have a completely different lineup, and all will take place in the Manship Theatre.
Cangelosi says she choreographed “Winston Winter,” part of “Holiday Mixture,” especially for this show.
“It’s going to be beautiful on the Manship stage,” she says, noting the dancers will go “from Thanksgiving to peace to the joy of the Christmas season in the three parts of this dance.”
The professional dancers will share the stage with Gulf Coast Tap Company, of New Orleans, in the “Holiday Mixture,” which features a variety of dance styles from classical to contemporary to rhythmic tap beats and sounds.
The second-day performances will feature company members and youngsters in the Cangelosi Dance Project’s pre-professional groups performing choreography by the professionals.
Each of the dancers focused on friendship when developing their dances.
“Friendship plays a big role during the holiday season,” says company member Aaron Lafitte. “This is a time when we gather with our family and friends.”
And friends are especially prominent among school-age children, who depict it through Lafitte’s contemporary dance to the Electric Light Orchestra’s “Turn to Stone” and Hannah Willson’s three dances to Michael Buble’s rendition of “Jingle Bells,” Pentatonix’s “White Winter Hymnal” and Kelly Clarkson’s jazzy version of “Run Run Rudolph.”
Younger dancers also will be featured in company member Millenique Brown’s hip-hop choreography to TLC’s “Sleigh Ride” and DMX’s “Rudolph the Rednosed Reindeer,” and company member Meagan Delatte’s dance to Stevie Nicks’ “Landslide” from the “Jack Frost” film.
“We’ll also be dancing scenes from the second act from ‘The Nutcracker,’ in the ‘Holiday Classical’ performance,” Cangelosi says. “We do this annually. And we’ll end the ‘Holiday Mixture’ performance with the world premiere of an African-influenced piece by choreographer Jon Lehrer, founder and artistic director of the Buffalo, New York-based Lehrer Dance.”
Lehrer traveled to Baton Rouge in August to choreograph the piece for the Cangelosi Dance Project and returned in October to polish it.
The dance is aggressive in its joyous energy performed to soundtrack of bongo drums.
“It’s going to be a great way to end the program,” Cangelosi says.