When I first walked up to Franklin High School to see the annual Arts Alive performance on a sunny May 4th, I was fully prepared to enjoy it. As it turned out, so was practically everyone else at Franklin. The line to get inside stretched out the theater doors and, at one point, about halfway down the block. It was the kind of line you might expect at a well-known symphony, or perhaps a circus act. The night’s program was well-deserving of all the enthusiasm.
As the lights dimmed, my excitement over finally getting inside the building was replaced with eager anticipation for the approaching show, which did not disappoint. I was dazzled by two and a half hours of amazing performances spanning across several forms of art. While Arts Alive primarily showcases dance, the show also involved several musical acts, including a jazz band before it began. While I was expecting to like the performance, I wasn’t prepared to love it as much as I did. It soon became evident just how hard everyone had worked.
One of the best parts of the show was how happy the artists seemed to be with their work, and how appreciative the performers were of each other. It was clear from the beginning that they built a tight-knit community together. “There’s a special bond that forms with other dancers when you go through all the rehearsals and performances together,” says dancer Arden Horacek (10) who participated in the program for the first time this year. “It’s a lot of time and energy and experiencing it with those people makes it feel [like you’re] part of a family.”
Although dance was largely featured, the musical acts were also fantastic and added a lot to the show. The Franklin choir was very involved, providing variation that strengthened and improved the performance by showcasing not only dance, but also other forms of art, making Arts Alive both an auditory and visual experience. This demonstrated the connection between the different arts departments at the school.
This year, the show was complicated by dance teacher Sonia Kellerman’s multiple surgeries, which pulled her out of school for days at a time. Dancer Olivia Gaddis (10) explained that this made everything “a little stressful,” but assured me that there was a moment in which she could tell everything would be fine. Horacek supports this sentiment, saying, “this was such an ambitious production, and [Kellerman’s] surgery added an extra layer of stress about whether or not we would be able to finish the pieces and accomplish every goal and expectation we had set up for ourselves.” Clearly, the artists’ dedication pulled through, leading to a stellar performance well worth the line.