(January, 2016) Mira Toth, youth choreographer for Oliver! talks about her love of dance and how she is preparing for April's show.
"I started dancing even before I started to walk. At the age of 3, I started ballet and I have vivid memories of tossing around in the tiny white tutu that I still have in my wardrobe. Since then, dance has always been a part of my life - Jazz ballet, classical dance, modern dance, etc. During first grade at high school, a woman walked up to me after the sport class and tried to convince me that I should join her sport aerobic class. Well, she had an easy job, I was always open to trying out everything that involved movements of the body. As I fell in love with aerobics in the first 5 minutes, catching up with the team was fast and easy. Therefore, it didn’t take long before I went on to do competitions (national and worldwide). For those who are not familiar with this sport, it has a lot to do with dance. The different sport elements (jumps, strength, splits, etc.) are choreographed in details to each rhythm of the music. With one championship after another, this grew to be my life. Standing on the podium was an exceptional and wonderful experience: achieving 2nd and 1st place at the European and 2nd place on the World Championship. Whilst at the top of my sporting “career” I had to reduce the number of hours spent in the dance room. This was due to an accident and it became necessary to find something to complement it. For this reason, I applied to university to be a coach and started to prepare kids aged 3-16 (close to 100 of them!) for the same kind of competitions, by choregraphing their routines, with all my heart and passion. After leaving Hungary and arriving in Luxembourg, as compensation for leaving “my life” behind, I discovered new areas, such as contemporary dance and urban dance: these are definitely my favourite ones today. Letting the body dictate the pace and movements brings me to another world where my heart and feelings are out on the dance floor. I believe dancing is one of the most beautiful things a human can do. It is communication without words – regardless of colour, nationality, gender or age.
“One such experience was the world of musical theatre when I joined Pirate Productions. Choreographing "The Jazz Club" two years ago was my first experience. Then, in the beginning of this year, when I learned that “Oliver!” was to take place, my heart started to race. The fading memories of working with so many motivated lovely kids came alive again, and the piece itself is close to my heart as well. Preparing such a choreography needs consideration of the ages of the girls and boys in terms of complexity, ease of learning as well as making sure it is visually pleasing and expressive. Usually, coming up with an idea takes a little imagination and some quiet moments alone - listening to the music two hundred times while imagining the kids in the scene. Then it comes to noting it down. Each choreographer has his/her own way. Mine is sketching the movements with the good old stick men for most of the rhythms. Surely, I am the only one who can read that though! After all of this, the only thing left is to teach it to the kids. Working with them is magical. Their energy, honesty and grace warms up any heart in a second. If I could have one wish, it would be that this show preparation would never end …”