"Dance is the hidden language of the soul"
By Kevin T. Baldwin
The following is a review of the February 17, 2022 opening tour performance of “Chloé Arnold's “Syncopated Ladies” at the Hanover Theatre in Worcester, MA.
Hanover Theatre & Conservatory for the Performing Arts, 2 Southbridge Street, Worcester, MA 01608.
(Chloé Arnold’s “Syncopated Ladies”)
Chloé Arnold’s Syncopated Ladies opening night performance at The Hanover Theatre and Conservatory for the Performing Arts in Worcester on Thursday, February 17, 2022 was an extraordinary experience filled with an infectious sense of optimism.
According to the tour press release, the six-member All-Female Tap Dance ensemble, founded by Emmy® Nominated Choreographer, Chloé Arnold, hails from Los Angeles, California. They are currently on tour and this is one show that should NOT be missed.
Syncopated Ladies includes five amazing dancers who are equally charismatic speakers and all around performers. Their stage dynamic is unbeatable and, at many times throughout the 90 minute show, inspirational.
Including Chloé Arnold, the ensemble features the fabulous dance stylings of Maud Arnold, Anissa Lee, Pamela Yasutake and Gisele Silva and spotlights one dynamite Songstress, Allison Semmes. (NOTE: The above dancers were listed in the Hanover program but, from the tour web site, additional featured dancers include Assata Madison & Melinda Sullivan)
While there were some minor technical hiccups at the very start of the evening's performance, once the ladies hit the stage it was full-on non-stop excitement.
The dancers not only showcase their tap skills but share intimate details of their lives, well communicating how their dance expression is an every day positive re-enforcement in their lives and has become a language of love and one which they have all obviously mastered.
While this was Arnold’s and her Syncopated Ladies’ first time performing at the Hanover, it was not Arnold’s first time in Worcester, having choreographed for the upcoming Ryan Reynolds-Will Farrell movie, “Spirited” which was shot in the city.
Arnold has trained and worked with the best of the best in the business from Beyoncé to tap legend Savion Glover to Debbie Allen and on and on and on.
After appearing as a dance contestant on Fox’s “So You Think You Can Dance” (SYTYCD) in 2011, Arnold was cut just before that show’s final “Top 10/20” selection. Then she came back a few years later performing with the Syncopated Ladies in a dance crew battle face-off.
In 2018, Arnold received an Emmy nomination for choreographing one of James Corden’s “Cross Walk” musicals.
High voltage tap dancing comprises much of the 90-minute production and includes routines put to the songs of Adele, Beyoncé, Andra Day, Chance the Rapper and more.
The show is broken up into multiple “concept” segments, each segment focusing on the various member journeys.
Along the way, there are conversations with the audience about “Dreams,” achieving one’s goals “Against All Odds,” expressing passion for others and a passion for oneself in “Love,” the concept of “Sisterhood,” and more.
A high point harkens back to bygone eras as the troupe extends their appreciation for all those dance icons who preceded them, especially female tappers whose names may not be immediately recognizable but should never be forgotten. This should have nearly everyone in the audience welling up as the "Ladies" express genuine gratitude and show how they collectively “stand on the shoulders of greatness."
The show is empowering, enlightening, informative, inspirational and, above all, fun.
With life gradually returning "back to normal" this would be a show highly recommended for those families looking for a terrific show and one that everybody will enjoy.
The show's approximate run time is 90 minutes with one intermission.
Kevin T. Baldwin is a member of the American Theatre Critics Association (ATCA)
(Video Clip: Chloé Arnold’s “Syncopated Ladies” - Courtesy of the tour web site)
"Syncopated Ladies…Reintroduce Tap to Popular Culture, and Make It Relevant"…The New York Times
Please note, for the comfort and safety of all of our patrons, staff, volunteers and performers/artists, we respectfully require proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative result for a COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of your visit to the theatre. Children under 12 are exempt, provided they are accompanied by an adult who is fully vaccinated. Information will be checked against a valid photo ID prior to entry and the wearing of masks is required while inside the theatre.
Complete details can be found here: https://thehanovertheatre.org/safetyprotocols
ABOUT THE HANOVER THEATRE AND CONSERVATORY FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS
The Hanover Theatre has entertained more than 2 million patrons with world-class performances and headlining acts including Broadway hits (“Jersey Boys,” “Kinky Boots,” “Something Rotten!”), comedians (Dave Chappelle, Jay Leno, Jerry Seinfeld), musical acts (Neil Young, Aretha Franklin, John Legend, Tony Bennett) and everything in between (“A Christmas Carol,” Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, Alton Brown, Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson). POLLSTAR consistently ranks The Hanover Theatre as one of the Top Theatres in the World. After 13 seasons, the award-winning, historic theatre continues to establish its place as a world-class performing arts venue and catalyst for the economic development of downtown Worcester. The Hanover Theatre’s facilities at 551 Main Street house function spaces, offices and The Hanover Theatre Conservatory.