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InnerRhythms’ Year-End Showcase: The Jungle Book

June 24 & 25, Truckee
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Info: $20/reserved seating, $15/general admission, $10/seniors, veterans, and children; June 24 at 6:30 p.m., June 25 at 2 p.m.; Truckee High School; 11725 Donner Pass Rd.; (530) 550-8464; innerrhythms.org

The Jungle Book is a Disney classic. In fact, the original 1967 film was the last Disney movie produced by Walt Disney. However, did you know the story of The Jungle Book dates all the way back to 1894 when English author Rudyard Kipling created the characters to present moral lessons to his readers? This month, the classic fable is the feature of InnerRhythms’ year-end showcase at Truckee High.

“Jungle Book is full of colorful and vivid characters that can be well represented through dance, from wolf cubs and a fierce tiger to exotic birds, jungle vines, and, of course, the red flower.” Elizabeth Archer, artistic director for InnerRhythms, said.

This show tells the story mainly through dance, and features performers ages three to adult. While movement is the main focal point, the dancing is accompanied with dialogue from InnerRhythms’ drama class players.

The Jungle Book was remade into a live action movie last year to critical acclaim, but I myself needed a bit of refreshing to remember just how great the plot and soundtrack really are.

The story follows an orphaned baby named Mowgli found in the deep jungles of India by a black panther named Bagheera, who helps raise the human boy alongside the mother wolf Raksha and her cubs. Flashing ten years into the future, the pack learns that a man-eating Bengal tiger is returning to the jungle, and so it is decided that Mowgli must return to the man-village for everyone’s safety. Determined to stay in the jungle, Mowgli rebels against the panther that took him in and ends up in the hands of a fun-loving bear named Baloo.

And, don’t forget about the soundtrack, because it is absolutely out-of-this-world. With classics like The Bare Necessities and other lesser-known titles like That’s What Friends Are For and My Own Home, these tunes will no doubt have the audience dancing along in their seats.

InnerRhythms makes it a priority to include a message to their audience within their shows, and their choice of The Jungle Book is no exception. “Sometimes life can be a perilous jungle,” Archer said. “But ultimately we all must drink from the same watering hole in peace and accept our differences, if we are to live on.”
 

 
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