Razzle-Dazzle - Kansas City Dance Collective
Reviewed By Karen Staehling
The Kansas City Dance Collective takes us back to the 1920s with a mix of vintage jazz and Fosse-inspired choreography in their production of "Razzle Dazzle." This series of seven dance chapters is inspired by the silent film era, weaving together a rich narrative in an engaging manner.
"Razzle-Dazzle" is truly an ensemble show, skillfully weaving together the performances of seasoned dancers and young, aspiring talents in a refreshing blend that fills the stage with sparkling costumes, feathers, and hats, a nod to the era's glitz. Integrating props such as restaurant trays, stools, and vaudeville-inspired signs into their routines, the Collective keeps audiences engaged and adds layers to the unfolding narrative. In particular, the silent movie-like placards with cues like "Wow," "Gasp," and "Applause" are a clever addition. However, if that was the intention, some audiences might need encouragement to participate.
As a homage to Bob Fosse's jazz style, "Razzle-Dazzle" is a fusion of turned-in knees, finger-snapping, and a blend of defined movements and stillness. The company's variety of dance numbers, particularly the large ensemble performance in the chapter "Be Our Guest," showcase the dancers' versatility, with the gymnastics of students adding another feather to this production's cap. "Razzle-Dazzle" embodies its namesake, offering audiences an entertaining show.