Chutes and Ladders: A Review

I had the good fortune of attending “Chutes and Ladders,” a dance performance put on at the Orcas Center by the Junior Dance Collective. I was immediately hooked by the ladder introduced in the very first dance, and when Dua Lipa appeared and began to perform her latest single “Training Season” on the top rung while doing handstands, my mental rating skyrocketed. However, I was disappointed that she left before I could get an autograph.

One of the first featured dancers was Mira Johnson and I absolutely loved the dance. When asked about her performance she said, “My hand was .2 inches off a quarter of the way into the dance. It was completely awful and ruined the whole thing.” I also interviewed Ellie Wright who actually choreographed a whole piece in the show. When asked about her dancing she said, “In one of the dances, a hair was out of place in my braids. The entire audience saw it and it was super embarrassing. I am mortified at this awful event and will be replacing my hair gel so that we can ensure it never happens again.” I was relieved to hear that this terrible miscalculation will be solved.

Halfway through the show there was a dance that I didn’t understand. It had no connection with the rest of the show and there was no music or words, only silence. Every dancer stood in a circle and subsequently started break dancing and spinning on their heads. This went on for about five minutes. I believe that the only reason it ended was because someone in the audience said, “Just get on with the show already, this is boring.” I think most of the people in the audience agreed with this sentiment and were glad someone said something about it.

Perhaps the most used prop in the show was the ladder. While Dua Lipa used it at the beginning, it was brought back later and many dancers did backflips off of it. There were also less impressive feats such as people climbing to the top rung, leaping off, and proceeding to fly several feet before landing safely on the ground. However, I cannot discuss props without talking about the slide. In the last dance, a slide was set up next to the ladder to set up a mock playground scene. Dancers slid down it backwards while others played hopscotch. There was a moment when everyone disappeared and just when we thought they would never return they came back with flattened cardboard boxes and began to slide on them down the slide while standing up, giving the illusion that they were surfing very badly. We interviewed Isabel Boyd about this feat and she said, “Ever since I was a child I have dreamed of surfing on a cardboard box down a plastic slide in a dance show in mid-March. This has truly been a dream come true.”

I would like to congratulate everyone involved with this show because it was truly spectacular. I give this show a 9.9 out of 10.

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