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Man and his umbrella experience a night of dance for the first time

Courtesy of Larry Gray Rachel White and Driss Dallahi perform at last week’s Dance Company concert. Their aerial routine was a part of the JTA (jazz, tap, aerial) Company’s performance of “Magic,” choreographed by UNH faculty members Gay Nardone and Mary Beth Marino.

I have been to jazz halls, I have been to orchestras and I have been to church.  But I have never been to a dance show.  It was a frigid Saturday on the second day of April, in the year 2016.

My weather man, (a.k.a. my iPhone, Ollie Williams), told me, “it’s gonna rain!” So I decided to buy a little black umbrella.  The time now was 5:30 p.m.  I slid my Home Depot key that looks like a puppy into my doorknob and gave it a jiggle, pushed through my door, then gently sat my new friend, umbrella, down in an old wooden chair.

“Umbrella, my little friend, what should I wear tonight?” Scornfully he replied, “I don’t know, why don’t you get some real friends?”

I was excited! “My first dance show” I thought to myself.  The time was now 6:30, so I spritzed Umbrella (because he asked) and myself with some cologne and then skipped to the PCAC (Paul Creative Arts Center) where the dance show was.

I got my ticket then hurried inside with my friend.  I had no idea what to expect.  All of a sudden the PCAC got dark and Umbrella grabbed my hand because the dark terrifies him.

The curtains opened, and the dancers rushed onto the stage frolicking in 1800 Slavic attire with accordion classical in the background, the backdrop was lit with a dull green and there was an old lady in the center sitting on a bench.  Some dancers who were dressed as witches moved on stage with a glowing orb ball.

“What is that thing?” I asked Umbrella.  “If you need to know, it’s going to make that old lady young again… stop ruining this for me,” he snarled.  Just like that the old lady transformed into a young woman.  I was in disbelief.  Then the dancers began to exit the stage leaving the young lady and a young man alone. 

All of a sudden the music changed to this intense tribal drum and these long silk drapes and hoop lowered from the ceiling.   The boy and girl climbed up and down twirling themselves to the music.

I was mesmerized as I watched them twirl and flip.  The only thing keeping them from falling to their death was a knot they tied around their torso. 

As the boy and girl cheated death, a group of tap-dancers wearing silver and grey made their way out.  “These are my favorite,” Umbrella cheered almost falling out of his seat.  The music over the speakers went silent.  Tap-Tap, Ta Tap-Tap.

The tap-dancers began making their own beat, and all in unison, they began creating their own music with the tapping of their toes.  The show went on after the tap-dancers, with more frolicking and acrobatic death cheating. 

Then the old lady made her way back on stage.  “Uh C’mon, not yet, don’t end yet,” I cried.  The dancers with the orb made their way out onto the stage again and the girl in white turned back into the old lady with the (magic) and a tear rolled down my cheek as I applauded with joy. 

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