Young dancers from Tanya Taylor productions will perform "Dancing Through Another’s Eyes," a benefit for the Hope Alliance, a nonprofit
Young dancers from Tanya Taylor productions will perform "Dancing Through Another's Eyes," a benefit for the Hope Alliance, a nonprofit organization that works with the Moran Eye Center to host vision clinics in impoverished areas of the world, at Temple Har Shalom on May 21 and 22. (Photo by John Lynch)
Since 2005, Taylor Productions, helmed by choreographer, musician and singer Tanya Taylor, has presented its annual spring concert in Park City.

The bi-annual productions, which include dancing and singing, feature an array of her specialized dance companies comprised of youths ages 7 through 18.

The performances are also designed to raise awareness of current issues and events that are happening around the world.

Past productions have honored veterans and the Lost Boys of Sudan and have educated her students and audiences about cancer.

The upcoming concerts, which will be performed at the Temple Har Shalom on May 21 and 22, will be a benefit for The Hope Alliance, a nonprofit organization that works with the Moran Eye Center to host vision clinics in impoverished areas of the world.

The fitting title for the productions is called "Dancing Through Another's Eyes."

Tickets are $5 at the door and all ticket sales will benefit the Hope Alliance. In addition, Taylor Productions will be accepting eyeglass donations at the show.

The idea for "Dancing Through Another's Eyes" was sparked when Taylor accompanied the Hope Alliance to Guatemala last February.

"We hosted a bunch of vision clinics and I thought it would be great if I could tie the production in with them," Taylor said during an interview with The Park Record. "So the kids will be dancing in hope that people of the world will be able to see."

The second act will specifically be dedicated to the Hope Alliance.

"We will show a video about what the organization did in Guatemala," Taylor said. "During the screening, we'll have some kids singing songs and some of the older kids dancing."

Taylor's ultimate goal is to help the students develop confidence and happiness.

"I like to use things that are happening around the world to facilitate that," she said. "At the same time, the kids are learning about what is going on and can use their resources and their confidence to help."

Preparing for this production has been a unique experience because the performers have been collecting used eyeglasses for the past two months that will be donated to the Hope Alliance.

This hits close to home for Taylor.

"My stepdaughter has astigmatism and cannot function without her glasses," Taylor said. "When I was in Guatemala, I learned that 25 percent of its population is legally blind like her.

"So you have people who are walking around there who cannot function, and just by giving a pair of glasses, you can literally alter the lifestyle of one of these people," she said. "You can completely change their ability to do things and change their lives."

Taylor hopes that through her productions, her students can learn more about charitable organizations throughout the world.

"The Hope Alliance isn't the only one out there," Taylor said. "I want to help these students find what type of organization touches their hearts and makes them want to serve. That way it will give them an open forum to do things themselves. And as they get older, this desire will carry over."

The songs for this section will include "Man In the Mirror" by Michael Jackson, "Lean on Me" by Bill Withers, "Ease on Down the Road" from the Tony Award-winning musical "The Wiz."

"We'll also alternate between 'Roar' by Katy Perry and 'Happy' by Pharrell Williams," Taylor said. "'Roar' will be performed Wednesday and 'Happy' will be performed on Thursday."

Park City-based pianist Mike Rogers will accompany the singers on "Happy."

"The kiddos selected the songs after being inspired by the Hope Alliance's mission," Taylor explained. "It's going to be like a whole multimedia experience."

There will be 56 students total including guest artists, who comprise the four Taylor dance companies — Petite Divas, Dancing Divas, Superstarz and Megastarz.

All four will open the show with "You Can't Stop the Beat" from the Tony Award-winning musical "Hairspray."

Then Megastarz will dance to "Crazy in Love" by Swing Republic and Petite Divas will groove to another "Hairspray" song, "Cooties."

Wrapping up the first section will be the Dancing Divas performing to the West End Orchestra's version of "Jailhouse Rock."

After the Hope Alliance tribute, the final act will feature Megastarz dancing to Jackson's "Smooth Criminal" and Elvis Presley's version of "Jailhouse Rock" and Superstarz performing to A Wild Party's "Wild, Wild Party," before everyone converges to end the show with Pitbull's "Timber."

Taylor choreographed all the numbers.

"This is so much fun," she said. "I'm so lucky to do this. Over the years, I've developed a rapport with the kiddos and their parents really support what we do.

"I found when you work with a child, you are really working with the parent as well," Taylor said. "Each child comes in with philosophies they learned from their parents, and at the same time, when I teach their children, the kids take those teachings back to their parents. A lot of parents have told me how much they appreciate their children getting exposed to and getting involved with social causes."

Tanya Taylor Productions will present "Dancing Through Another's Eyes" at Temple Har Shalom, 3700 Brookside Ct., on Wednesday, May 21, and Thursday, May 22, at 7 p.m. Admission is $5 at the door. For more information, visit www.tanyataylorproductions.com.