Maria Park will step ‘Through the Looking-Glass’

Diane
Diane Crocker
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Maria Park, 15, a Level 1 student at Corner Brook Regional High is starring in Dance Studio West production Through the Looking Glass on Stage at the Arts and Culture Centre in Corner Brook Friday and Saturday.

CORNER BROOK  When Maria Park steps on stage at the Corner Brook Arts and Culture Centre on Friday it won’t be the first time she’s danced there, but it will be her first time doing so as the lead in a show.

Park is playing the title character of Alice in Dance Studio West’s presentation of “Through the Looking-Glass.”

“So it certainly makes it a lot more special and a lot more daunting,” said the 15-year-old Level 1 student who was hand picked for the role by director Amy Andrews.

The show is based on the novel “Through the Looking-Glass” by Lewis Carroll. In it Alice steps through a mirror and into an alternate world.

For Park the challenge will be to portray Alice and her experiences through dance.

She said it’s something she’ll accomplish through the use of facial expressions and changes in movement.

“You can tell a lot just by moving an eyebrow or changing your lips,” she said, “but there’s also the style and how you move your body.

“If you do something with a lot of power you can portray yourself as more confident, but if you just bring yourself in a little bit and start doing it smaller, suddenly you’re scared and uncertain.”

After eight years of dancing, Park said it still amazes her how it all works. She started with Dance Studio West when she was eight.

“Before I actually joined dance I’d always loved music and loved dancing,” she said.

Her first class was in with tap and Park said she just fell in love with dance. “And ever since then I have just continued to join even more styles of dance.”

If you do something with a lot of power you can portray yourself as more confident, but if you just bring yourself in a little bit and start doing it smaller, suddenly you’re scared and uncertain. Maria Park

She’s tried everything from jazz and modern to ballet and hip hop.

“I like them all for different reasons, but probably ballet and tap,” she said when asked which is her favourite.

“It’s kind of funny because they’re two totally different styles. Tap is very rhythm based and a lot of fun and a lot of involvement with your feet, but ballet is so technical and graceful, but I kind of like the challenge of it.”

Park also teaches pre-ballet and assists with other classes at the dance school. She said it’s interesting because you realize what seems so natural to you doesn’t always come so natural to others.

“But there’s something about kids, their imagination is everywhere, really there’s no limit,” she said.

“Even though I might tell them to do their plies 50 times, there’s nothing like at the end of a day watching them play freeze dance and seeing what they can come up with.”

“Through the Looking-Glass” will feature a cast of over 100 who will tell the story through ballet, hip hop, modern and jazz dance. Assisting Andrew with the directing is Candice Pike.

The show will be on stage Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.

Twitter: WS_DianeCrocker

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