PHOTO BY PAULA MULLER
Dancers from the Nahant-based Forty Steps Company perform at Fisherman’s Beach in Swampscott Saturday afternoon. Pictured from left, Darcy DiGiulio Christian, Nicole Gariepy, Mehron Kugler and Djavila Ho.
By Michele Durgin
SWAMPSCOTT— The Forty Steps Dance Troupe couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful place to share their talents last weekend.
The 10-member group performed at Fisherman’s Beach and moved in perfect unison to the mesmerizing beat of the accompanying drum. The grace and artistry the dancers demonstrated through contemporary dance was captivating. Their slow motion movements, while deliberate and planned, took on an air of softness and whimsy that left the audience in awe.
“This is wonderful,” said Cheryl Cohen, longtime resident of the small seaside town. “It’s always a thrill to see the arts in Swampscott, and this a fantastic group of dancers.”
Sallee Slagle, founder of the 24-year-old company, showcased her energetic performers and their talent.
“The ocean and sunshine are a big plus,” she said. “It is the perfect place to share our love of dance. Our goal is to spread the word that dance is glorious and should be experienced by everyone.”
Town resident Rebecca Ingalls, 57, said she was impressed with the hour-long performance and noted its effect on the children in the audience.
“It was a lovely performance and I was watching the children during the show,” she said. “I noticed that most were dancing along and really seemed to be enjoying themselves. Maybe next year they can invite the kids to join them.”
Darcy Christian of Maine has been a member of the troupe for five years. “I love dancing and today was so much fun,” she said. “The audience was great. Sallee’s choreography makes my heart sing.”
Dancer Mehron Kugler, 34, said he had a blast. “I think dance is a great activity for the body,” he said. “The leg muscles really get a workout, and the sand is an especially great place to feel it. I enjoyed watching the audience’s reaction as we danced and I especially loved the outdoor stage.”
Swampscott resident Eva and Bryan Mintz-Bacon brought their daughters, Bella, 4, and Lila, 2, to experience the event.
“We’ve only lived in town for about four months,” she said. “I’m anxious to take part in local events and this was beautiful. My girls had a super time. They were mesmerized and I’m thrilled that we got to see such a unique performance.”