|Preview host Seth Rudetsky, third left, award-winning composer Stephen Schwartz, center, professional dancer Rachelle Rak, center right, and Born to Dance creator and director Daniel C. Levine, right of Rak, joined by studio dancers.|
Guests planning a trip aboard three of Princess Cruises’ ships this fall can expect a special entertainment experience.
At a recent behind-the-scenes workshop event held in New York City at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater on West 55th Street, Travel Agent learned that Princess Cruises will be rolling out its latest onboard production in October, set to take place aboard the Golden Princess, and eventually Star Princess and Grand Princess, titled “Born to Dance”.
The show is the second in a series of four productions from Princess Cruises created in partnership with Oscar, Grammy and Tony-award winning composer Stephen Schwartz, one of the musical masterminds behind Broadway’s Wicked, Godspell and Pippin, among others. Last year’s presentation, “Magic to Do”, was well received by both audiences and critics, and with this new installment, Princess Cruises and Schwartz hope to exceed audiences’ expectations again.
Born to Dance, created and directed by Daniel C. Levine, is a high-energy production that takes a deeper look into the lives of the “unsung heroes” of Broadway: the dancers. The show combines live choreography accompanied by multi-media elements and video interviews of several top professionals in the industry, including Andy Blankenbuehler, choreographer of Broadway’s In The Heights and Hamilton, and Sarah Litzsinger, Broadway’s longest-running Belle in Beauty and the Beast, among many others. Throughout the performance, the audience will hear stories about the highs, lows, and what it takes to become a professional in the competitive world of dance.
Al Blackstone, a New York City-based choreographer, designed each number in Born to Dance to coincide with a different musical decade, from the jazz and tap genres of the early 20th century, to more contemporary styles currently seen on the stage today. Songs include well-known musical pieces like “I Want to Be a Dancing Man” from Fosse and “Dancing Queen” from Mama Mia. Blackstone was recently featured as a Broadway choreographer on Season 12 of So You Think You Can Dance, and his many accolades include the 2011 Capezio A.C.E. Award for Choreographic Excellence, among others.
Set to be featured in Born to Dance is Rachelle Rak, well-known on television through her position as host and judge on Lifetime’s Dance Moms and Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition. Rak’s Broadway credits include Fosse, Catch Me If You Can, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Oklahoma!, Cats, Chicago, and West Side Story, among many others. Meanwhile, William Ivey Long will be designing costumes for the production. Long recently designed for Grease: Live for the FOX network and throughout his career has been nominated for 15 Tony Awards, winning six times.