Rise’s ‘Mix Tape’

It was ’80s music all the way at Rise Vineyard Performing Arts’ annual recital.

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A combination of musical favorites from the 1980s was the theme of this spring’s Rise dance performance last weekend. Director of Rise Jil Matrisciano said that hits like “Kung Fu Fighting,” “Burning Down the House,” and Blondie’s “Rapture” made for an especially fun performance this year. She said that costumes, music, and dance are all centered around the theme for each performance. Lighting wiz Greg Hamm also helped to bring the show together, she said.

“We wanted to keep the theme a little open so that teachers could have more creativity with the way they framed things,” Matrisciano said. She said the nearly 200 dance students worked since January to bring the performance together.

“We start work on the material at the beginning of the year, and we incorporate technique into the choreography,” Matrisciano explained. She also noted that there were more boys taking classes than ever before, 19 total. Ages of the dancers range from 3 up to 20.

Even though a few of her students were moved to tears when it was all over, Matrisciano said she assured them that the summer dance program will begin soon.

“I would definitely say it was our biggest audience ever,” she said. “Now we’re going to breathe for a little bit.”