‘Christmas Spectacular’: Local studio celebrates a decade of dance
By Special to the E-E
Friday, December 12, 2008 1:38 PM CST
Nine years ago, Shelly Beech, owner of Art of Motion Dance, decided her students deserved the opportunity to participate in a holiday show. Prior to 1999, her dancers had only limited opportunities to get involved with local Christmas productions.
“Bartlesville was ready for something new and I was confident that I could produce, direct and choreograph a high quality show,” said Beech.
“There has been tremendous community support. Our gratitude goes out to everyone that contributed to our first 10 years of success,” she said.
The beauty of the ‘Christmas Spectacular’ is its range of entertainment. From tap-dancing preschoolers dressed as elves to, in the blink of an eye, a stage filled with majestic angels.
Audiences have enjoyed the fast-paced, high-energy, constantly changing style of the show for almost 10 years, according to Beech.
Music selections include many traditional favorites but there is always a surprise or two. “Bartlesville’s Christmas Spectacular” also doesn’t forget the spiritual aspects of Chris“I remember singing ‘Silent Night’ and ‘What Child Is This?’ in elementary school,” Beech said. “The Christmas pageant was held during a school assembly and the audience was filled with our parents and relatives that took off work to share in our big day. We performed like a choir of angels.”
The show is filled with childhood memories and has a definite Radio City Music Hall style.
There are a few songs from the claymation specials of the ’70s and the production numbers are reminiscent of the Christmas variety shows watched every December.
The animated holiday cartoons are even incorporated into a jazz routine dedicated to the mean ole’ Mister Grinch.
Audiences will enjoy a time before satellite and Tivo. Beech invites the public to gather family and, instead of sitting around the television, come to see Bartlesville’s newest holiday tradition.
“What was commonplace in my childhood has gone the way of rabbit ear antennas,” said Beech. “My wish is that ‘Bartlesville’s Christmas Spectacular’ connects today’s children with the child hidden inside their parents and grandparents — sharing and passing on traditions through song and dance.
“It’s fine that Santa Claus, the Grinch, angels and Sugar Plum Fairies all perform in the same show,” said Beech. “This production is a melting pot of memories and traditions. It’s full of hometown holiday charm!”
The public is invited to share in this very special evening at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Bartlesville Community Center.
For tickets call 918-336-2787 or visit www.bartlesvillecommunitycenter.com.
From Left: Heaven Fuller, Carrie Tillett, Claire Malaby, Alexis Dout, Hayden Wehmeyer