When selecting the theme for a dance recital, dance instructors and recital directors must consider several issues, including simplicity, versatility, traditional value, and kids' appreciation. In order to hold a successful recital, choosing a theme that allows the dance company to execute the recital at its best is key.
Simple theme benefit instructors, students, and parents because it means minimal set changes, low-key costumes, and inexpensive equipment. Consider "Colors" as a theme; dancers can be costumed in colors of the rainbow, and the dancers can wear solid colored outfits, dancing to music that represents each color. Another simple theme idea is "Seasons," in which dancers choose songs and costumes to represent the four seasons. For instance, they can dance to "See You in September," wearing fall-colored leotards.
Versatile themes allow for many age groups, dance styles, and costume ideas. One versatile theme to consider would "On the Job," in which dancers' costumes represent different careers and the music reflects each one. Another theme that can be very versatile is "Hollywood." Recognizable songs from various films, and dancers dressing to reflect the film, offer quite a range of style and sound. Also consider "Across the Country," in which each dance can represent the typical music, clothing, and culture of different regions of the United States.
Of course, many instructors and directors wish to provide students a good awareness of the traditions of dance. For a more traditional recital, consider a theme such as "Through the Years," a recital focusing on the different styles of dance and how they developed through time. Another traditional theme could focus on traditional choreography styles; dancers could learn signature style and moves, and reflect their knowledge in the recital. For the ultimate traditional ballet recital, "The Nutcracker" or "Swan Lake" is always popular.
Themes kids love
In considering a recital's theme, the enthusiasm of the dancers cannot be underestimated. When dancers feel excited and invested by the music and costumes, it significantly improves the recital's quality. For this reason, you may want to select a theme that will excite the dancers. Some possibilities include "Pop Music," "Casting a Spell," "A Fairy Tale Dance," and "Broadway Review."
Abbey Baker is a writer and teacher at an alternative school in Burlington, Vt., where she specializes in working with students who have learning disabilities. Baker has a Master of Fine Arts in fiction writing and writes short stories. She recently had a short story published in "Eleven Eleven" journal.