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Get Your Dance Shoes, 'Chorus Line' Auditions Set

by and on April 30, 2014 1:50 PM

Richard Biever, FUSE Productions, Nicole Swope and Jill Brighton have all the magic of Broadway up their sleeves for their next production, set to take place Aug. 7-9 at the State Theatre.

But, first, they need some assistance.

On May 2 and 4 at Swope’s Centre Dance Studio at 2121 Sandy Drive in State College, local dancers can try out for this summer’s FUSE musical, “A Chorus Line.”

Biever describes the show as a “juggernaut,” saying that “Chorus Line was an out-of-body experience for Broadway.”

One of the longest running shows in Broadway history, it calls for about 24 dancers. While most of them need to sing, Biever says that several roles don’t require beautiful voices.

“They just have to be able to carry a tune and carry a part,” he says.

But everyone in the show dances.

“You can’t fake that,” Biever adds.

Swope will choreograph the production, with help from three or four other people. Each choreographer will work with dance styles according to their preference. Some numbers have stylized jazz movement, while others seem more lyrical.

The premise of “A Chorus Line” shattered more than one Broadway convention when it opened in 1975. It has no true set. It has no actual costumes — except leotards, tights and dance shoes. It has no real scenery.

It does offer wall-to-wall song-and-dance numbers, including hits like “One,” “What I did for Love,” and “I Can Do That.”

The show opens in the middle of an audition for a Broadway show. The dancers, known as “gypsies,” hope to land spots in the chorus line. The choreographer needs to narrow the field until he has a small group of dancers. Each dancer has their own back story, told through musical numbers and monologues.

As the audience experiences the auditions along with the dancers, the show’s themes emerge.

“It’s about doing the thing you love, even though you may not get the job doing it,” Biever says.

He and Swope, along with her crew, will do everything they can to ensure that their audition process won’t pressure dancers the way the show’s does. And they really hope to see some new faces the first weekend in May.

This story was produced by the staff at the Centre County Gazette. It was re-published with permission. The Centre County Gazette is a weekly publication, available at many locations around Centre County every Thursday morning.

Ann is an Arts and Entertainment correspondent for the Gazette.
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