This guest post was submitted by Broadway In Chicago audience member Jessica Eggert. Thank you Jessica for sharing your review with us!
I had the privilege of attending the Broadway show Heartbeat of Home’s opening night in Chicago. As a regular season ticket holder, I have had the pleasure of viewing many fantastic shows over the years. However, this show was the best of the best and it would be criminally selfish to withhold this experience and not share it.
Heartbeat of Home was a purely magically culmination of music, dance, song and nature blended into one. There was so much respect for all various forms of art; one could feel it through the beat of a drum or the stomp of a dance shoe. Every dancer showcased their broad range of movements and perfected technique for Irish step, ballet, jazz, flamenco, hip-hop and more. All genres of dance were highlighted equally without favoritism for any specific form. There was a perfect amount of chemistry between dancers as well as playfulness. It was remarkable to see these athletes move and take on completely new characters through every new set. These dancers have mastered dance on levels beyond technique and have incorporated their hearts into their steps.
While typically the musicians remain in the orchestra pit, unseen, the Heartbeat of Home took the liberty of inviting them onto the stage and transformed them into their own characters. The talented artists played with the dancers, instead of for them. They all interacted and had solos allowing each performer to stand out. These musicians and vocal artists performed music from all over the world in multiple genres! It is clear that these artists are not your average performer, because of this ability to conquer all forms of music individually and as an entire orchestra.
The exploration of space through the scenery was fascinating. The use of a projector did not dominate the show, as it often times has the tendency to do, but instead complimented the show. The elements of nature, water, sunset, and storms were carefully woven into each set and poured onto the stage with just the right amount of light. This ignited multiple facets of emotions for audience members; we became curious, excited, soothed, and amazed at how well the use of scenery coincided with entire show. The projector transported the audience and dancers all over the world in an elegant cinematic way.
I highly recommend all to see this performance; from the early stages of life to the elderly and anywhere in between, there is something for everyone to enjoy. There is not a single target audience. Heartbeat of Home is a sincere and honest show that explores music, dance, song, and space. It invites audiences to participate and play along; to become a part of the show. So go, be part of the show and share your experiences as I have shared mine.
Tags: afrocuban dance, heartbeat of home, irish dance, jessica eggert, latin dance, Review, riverdance