According to artistic director Linda Smith, the title of Repertory Dance Theatre’s Joyride II “hopefully sends the message that this concert is a family friendly show, lighthearted and full of fun.” But underneath the enjoyable fare—geared to kick-off the holiday season—exists an important message about those alarming statistics about our expanding waistlines and the resulting detrimental side effects.
RDT’s public relations director Cynthia Yeo explains that the main themes behind the production—exercise and nutrition—are targeted toward kids living in this era of rising obesity and diabetes: “RDT want[s] to really show kids the importance and the fun of being athletic and getting out and moving.” The performance will include pieces reworked from 2008’s original Joyride, combined with a few new ones. In fact, Smith notes that since “RDT’s mission has always included the development of young choreographers as a primary goal,” Joyride II will include inventive work from company members Chara Huckins-Malaret, new dancer Sarah Donohue, Aaron Wood, and Nicholas Cendese (with RawMoves partner Natosha Washington). Those pieces will be augmented by Andrea Miller’s Girl With Microphone and dance excerpts from both Tim Hadel’s Surprise Packages and Susan Hadley’s Blue Grass.
In a culture where it seems that you can’t turn on the television, open a magazine or even browse the Web without running into someone preaching the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, leave it to Repertory Dance Theatre to find a creatively fresh way to join in America’s ongoing conversation regarding its health.