‘In Sight’ Dancers are Out of Sight

The Little Theatre was full of song and dance Friday and Saturday night when the Chappell Players held their first ever dance concert entitled “In Sight.”

For “In Sight,” 18 students of various dancing abilities performed to songs including “All That Jazz” from “Chicago,” Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal,” “What About” and “History Repeating.”

The $1,700 that was raised will go to the Allen Women’s Resource Center, a local shelter that helps women and children who have escaped domestic violence.

“I’ve always had a special interest in things to help women in general,” said Leeanne M. G-Bowley, director and choreographer of the show. “Survivors of domestic violence are some of the most courageous people in my eyes. It takes a lot for them to go to the shelters and I think for us as a Catholic university, it’s a charity that’s definitely something we should help out with.”

“Doing the performance for charity brings different perspective to it,” said Raeann Walters, one of the dancers in the show. “We aren’t performing for our enjoyment, but to help the women of domestic violence.”

G-Bowley was a big part of the idea for this new type of show and helped to see it started at St. John’s.

“Last year I was talking to one of the e-board members about how I choreographed in my room constantly and there’s no where for me to actually produce what I do,” she said. “She was like ‘Well why don’t we have a dance concert?’ I proposed it to the e-board and they said I could do it this year.”

“I thought it [the idea] was fantastic,” said Heidi L. Chiu, Assistant to the Director of Student Activities and Performing Arts. “It was something new that they had never done before and it was really exciting for them.”

Although the cast began work on the dance concert three and a half months ago, G-Bowley has been putting her time in since summer vacation and continuing working a great deal over the Christmas vacation.

“I started actually working over the summer a little bit, choosing music, starting to choreography a little a little bit,” G-Bowley said. “Over Christmas break I really started working hard core on it.”

While putting this show together, difficulties were found due to the fact that St. John’s does not have a theatre program.

“It was a challenge without having a theatre program or dance program,” G-Bowley said. “I think it was more of a reward at the end of the dance concert [because of that].”

“They really proved themselves,” Chiu said. “Knowing the fact that we don’t have a theatre program at St. John’s, they’ve demonstrated time and time again that they can do anything regardless of the fact that we don’t have a program.

Even having to do it without the help of a theatre or dance program, the show can be counted as a success with it being well attended by the St. John’s University community.

“It was a great turnout,” G-Bowley said. “I was very surprised actually. Because it was something new I had no idea how much support we’d get. The crowds were great both nights. They were very enthusiastic, very supportive.”

Both nights, the Chappell Players put on shows worth seeing and created something to be proud of.

“I think both shows went really well,” said G-Bowley. “It’s something I’m definitely very proud of.”

“Over all, I am so very pleased with the show, it was truly performed from our hearts,” Walters said. “I loved every moment of the show from the very first rehearsal to the last moment of the performance.”