As any good dance parent knows, we are in the midst of dance recital season but one Conway dance studio is presenting a recital with a unique twist. Broadway Dance Academy at Red Curtain Theatre will offer a dance performance called Heart Strings today at Hendrix College.
The end-of-year dance performance tells a story of fate and love by sharing the life story of the parents of one of the studio’s dance teachers.
“My mom and I have always talked about writing the story of how my parents met so that we could share it with future generations,” said Christina Muñoz Madsen. “Well we hadn’t put it on paper so this was an opportunity for us to walk down memory lane and talk through every past event. Even though I had heard the stories many times, it was fun to almost ‘interview’ her to be sure I had all the details correct. I’m also very excited that my mom, who lives in South Dakota, is here to see the performance!”
Madsen teaches ballet and Pointe classes at Broadway Dance Academy. Her parents met in Chile while her father was teaching violin at a music conservatory as part of a Peace Corps mission. Her mother was taking dance and piano lessons at the same school. They met, fell in love, and due to the Coup d'état in Chile at the time, they decided to move to her father’s hometown in Yankton, South Dakota. After raising a family heavily involved in musical theatre, Madsen’s father was diagnosed with cancer and later died but the love of music, theatre and dance lives on through his children and grandchildren. When the director of Broadway Dance Academy, Olivia Stephens, and the executive director of Red Curtain Theatre, Kristen Sherman, heard about Madsen’s parents’ love story, they asked permission to create a dance performance based on it.
“I think I’m most excited about seeing a story that is so personal to me come to life on stage through dance,” said Madsen. “Olivia Stephens wrote a beautiful script surrounding my parents’ story that really makes it relatable and entertaining for everyone. You really don’t have to know my parents, or me, to enjoy this performance because anyone who has been in love, or suffered loss, will be able to relate to this story. I’m also so proud of all our talented dancers who have worked so hard on this performance!”
Heart Strings will be performed at Staples Auditorium on the Hendrix campus today at 2:00p.m. and 7:00p.m. The dance performance is free and open to the public.