If you love exciting dancing and gorgeous singing, the song-and-dance show Holidazzzzle should leave you, well, dazzled.
It's on Friday and Saturday, featuring students, faculty and guest artists of John Leggio's Center for the Performing Arts — more than 100 dancers of all ages, the center's 60-voice choir, several soloists, and singer/teacher Morgan Burburan's 75-person choir from Weeki Wachee High School. It's enough that the 2 1/2-hour show will likely leave both performers and audience members happily out of breath. They're pros all the way.
(I saw Leggio's annual end-of-season dance show in June and was simply blown away by the talent and proficiency of the dancers and by Leggio's choice of music and moves for them. No wonder Royal Caribbean cruise line has hired his elite Xcel dance team to perform on the Brilliance of the Seas in mid March.)
"This show marks the beginning of the our 10th (year) at John Leggio's," the proud founder of the studio said. "And we are going to celebrate the holidays like never before. This year's extravaganza will have all the great songs we have grown up loving, set to inspiring choreography and beautiful singing."
There's an 18-minute mini-Nutcracker featuring highlights from the beloved ballet that Leggio says ballet master Edwina Nelson has updated to suit the dancers' style. There's a Parade of the Wooden Soldiers, and a Cirque-style roll-out of characters in colorful costumes set to David Foster's instrumental arrangement of Carol of the Bells.
The show also has Rockette-style kicks, taught by choreographer Kelly King, who was a Radio City Music Hall Rockette for 12 years and is now "lead contemporary teacher" at the Patel Conservatory at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa.
"There will be hip-hop, contemporary, modern, jazz, Broadway, great Christmas Cabaret moments and a Cirque Acrobatic number that could steal the show," Leggio said. The acrobatics will be done by 60 young tumblers in glowing costumes.
"Perhaps the most touching moment of the evening will be our patriotic version of the song I Look to You," Leggio said. "(It) will fill you with pride and touch your heart."