"What The Dickens!" At Boston University
Creators and Choreographers
A few weeks ago, I photographed the Cambridge Dance Youth Dance Program's production of "What the Dickens!” a dance concert inspired by Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Story.” “What the Dickens!” is a collaboration between Deborah Mason, founder of the Deborah Mason School of Dance; David Drummond, an internationally acclaimed ballet principal, master teacher and choreographer; and Khalid Hill, tap choreographer.
In this modern retake of a well-loved tale, Ebenezer Scrooge is now Ebeneeza Scrooge, a modern, briefcase-carrying career woman, and multiple forms of dance are used to flesh out this retake of a beloved holiday story. In addition to the capable kids and teenagers performing ballet, tap, modern, jazz, and hip-hop, some acrobatic flair was added by local gymnasts. Some local adult dance stars added their own flair, including Sean Bjerke of The Beantown Lockers and Boston legends The Wondertwins, Billy and Bobby McClain, whose unique style of dance combines hip-hop, popping and mime.
Deborah Mason is known locally for the quality of her training, and Jayme Latorella, one of the teachers at Mason’s school, plays Ebeneeza Scrooge in the production. It was a pleasure to photograph Jayme, whose facial expressions beautifully conveyed the complex and dynamic emotions of her character. The Ghost of Christmas Future, the fabulous Alanna Logan, had a delightfully evocative role, complete with web-like costume, smoke, and the projection of graveyards over the backdrop, in front of which she beautifully danced.
My very talented friend, former photojournalist Bryce Flynn, second-shot the production with me, and many thanks go out to him.