Gregory Hancock Dance Theatre cooks up spin on spaghetti westerns


Gregory Hancock Dance Theatre is ready to take aim again at old TV and movie Westerns.

“The Wild Wild West” returns Feb. 10-25 at The Florence, the black-box cabaret at GHDT, 329 Gradle Dr., Carmel. The show premiered in 2019.

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Camden Lancaster performs in Gregory Hancock Dance Theatre’s “The Wild Wild West.” (Photo by Lydia Moody)

Hancock said the music comes from a variety of old Western films, such as “The Big Country,” “Indio Black,” “Navajo Joe,” “The Commancheros” and a collection of spaghetti Westerns.  

“The dancers always enjoy storytelling with their dancing,” Hancock said. “Bringing a character to life and finding nuances in the characters is always fun and rewarding for the dancers. This piece is naïve, nostalgic, charming, comic, fun and entertaining. Even though there is challenging dancing in the production, the dancers enjoy the freedom to simply have fun, become lost in the story and entertain the audience. In addition to being wonderful dancers, the dancers of GHDT are talented actors and can convey a story remarkably well. They are also able to feel and see immediate reactions and engagement with audience members.”

Hancock said nothing has changed since the premiere performance. 

“However, when pieces are repeated, we are allowed the opportunity to delve further into character and story development,” Hancock said. “Of course, the story and characters were in place from the first presentation. But with an encore presentation, the choreography does not have to be created, but taught, restaged and rehearsed.”

Hancock said the production is a good fit for the smaller performance space.

“At The Florence, the audience can feel the connection to the performers due to the proximity,” Hancock said. “The physicality of dance is much more evident and appreciated in this intimate setting, and facial expressions of the performers can be appreciated as well.’”

Hancock said one new addition for this winter show is an early performance time on Saturdays at 5 p.m. The Sunday shows are at 3 p.m.

“Audiences can enjoy an early performance and then have time for dinner in a local restaurant, where they can talk about the performance they just experienced,” Hancock said.

The show is also a fundraiser for GHDT.

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