The bus had only been traveling about 20 minutes when the driver pulled off at a rest stop just outside of Ripley. The announcement was made that students should take care of business and return to the bus for further information. Several kids got up and went outside to stretch and use the facilities, while others remained on the bus, half asleep or listening to headphones. After each student received meal money and a ticket, the bus chugged back on the highway for the hour and a half drive. The destination was Lord of the Dance.
It was just another Upward Bound cultural activity on Sunday, February 8. Upward Bound director Bob Jones announced upon arrival of the Pyramid, "You all are to eat at the concessions inside with your money. Have a good time and be at the bus directly afterwards." As the students piled off the crowded yellow bus -some more reluctantly than others-you heard murmurs of "I'm heading straight for the food" and "Can't we just go to the mall instead?" The 50 high school students attending from HHS, Dyer County, Lake County, and Trenton made their way towards the looming height of the Pyramid.
The show began a few minutes past 3:00 with bright purple lights and ominous music. The dancers finally appeared wearing shimmers of colors and weaving around one another. In constant motion, with each set interchanging with a new set, they twirled and leaped. At times, the dancers got a brief rest backstage while a woman in a jade velveteen dress sang traditional Irish tunes. There were also interludes where two women adorned in black satin feverishly played fiddles. After about a 40 minute show, a 20 minute intermission brought another chance for students to get up and grab more food.
The second half of the show went without flaw as costumes were changed and props were rearranged. At one point the male star of the show was torn between the "good" woman and the "bad" woman. The evil woman, dressed as a temptress in red sequins, would perform her fancy, seductive dance. Then, the good woman in innocent white did her graceful and simple turns. In the end, the good woman prevailed as the man's true love.
The finale came soon after. With an outstanding clog number, the stage seemed filled with lights and action. After a standing ovation, all of the dancers and musicians returned for an unbelievable encore.
As the students walked out to the parking lot towards the bus you could hear mumbles of "Well, that was better than the mall."
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