NORTH NEWTON, KAN. -- The Bethel College Dance Ensemble, in conjunction with the Newton Performing Arts Center, will present "The Dance of Oz" at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday, April 29 and 30 in Krehbiel Auditorium of the Fine Arts Center on the Bethel College campus. The performance showcases ballet, tap, jazz, hip-hop and modern styles of dance. It is an original combination of L. Frank Baum’s children’s classic, "The Wizard of Oz" and "The Wiz," a musical adaptation of Baum’s story with an original score by Quincy Jones.
Jones’ musical was first performed in 1979 by an all-African-American cast that included Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Richard Pryor and Lena Horne. Tiffany Jefferson, director of the Bethel College Dance Ensemble and Newton Performing Arts Center, synchronized Baum’s words and Jones’ music through the choreography that is "The Dance of Oz."
The cast includes sophomore Heather Linscheid, Fresno, Calif., as ballerina Dorothy; senior Lauren Gillis, Colorado Springs, Colo., as the hip-hopping Scarecrow; senior Leah Larson, Clay Center, as the tapping Tin Woman; senior Anna Weaverdyck, Ann Arbor, Mich., as the jazz dancing Cowardly Lion; freshman Amy Swartz, Wichita, as Glenda the Good Witch, and Jordan Jefferson, 6-year-old son of Joe and Tiffany Jefferson, as break-dancing Toto.
In addition to the leads, a dance ensemble performing several numbers in multiple styles includes Sara Flaming, Newton; seniors Lindsey Bannon, Douglas; Vanessa Konrade, Wichita; and Emily Smith, North Newton; juniors Adrian D. Cadena, San Antonio, Texas; and Janelle Steiner, Albany, Ore.; sophomore Kristin Watson-Drennen, Lyons; and freshman Karen Funk, Salina.
Tickets are $6 for adults and $3 for children ages 12 and under. All seating is general admission. Tickets can be purchased at Mokas, 701 N Main, Newton, or by calling Thresher Bookstore, (316) 284-5205.