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article imageMeet Ashley Budinick: Dance captain of 'Sesame Street Live!' Special

By Markos Papadatos     Jan 24, 2018 in Entertainment
New York - Ashley Budinick, the dance captain of "Sesame Street Live!" chatted with Digital Journal about the upcoming production at The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
"Sesame Street Live! Let's Party! is a high energy, musically-driven show that is directed and choreographed by Paul Becker, who choreographed Disney's Descendants and was a judge on So You Think You Can Dance, and Melena Rounis, who was a dancer on Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour by Cirque Du Soleil," she said. "The choreography is fun, fresh and never stops, so it's definitely a challenge to make sure myself and my fellow cast members are always prepared and in peak physical condition. We want to ensure that every performance is the best it can be and that the families attending our show know how much fun we are having and experience that for themselves as well."
Sesame Street Live!
Sesame Street Live!
Feld Entertainment
She noted that the stage is a replica of Sesame Street, which includes the 123 Brownstone building and the familiar stoop with Oscar The Grouch’s trash can, Mr. Hooper’s Store, Abby Cadabby’s garden and more. "There is also a pre-show experience, that families can purchase in addition to their ticket, which takes place before the show. Families take a tour of the Sesame Street Live! stage, so they can sit on the stoop of the 123 Brownstone building, check out the produce at Mr. Hooper’s store and admire the flowers in Abby Cadabby’s garden. Families will also have the opportunity to meet Big Bird and help create party decorations. It’s definitely a show that the whole family can enjoy together," she elaborated..
For Budinick, it is a thrill to be performing with the Sesame Street cast at The Theater at Madison Square Garden. "I can't wait for the families of the New York area to sing and dance along with us at our community party. For many children, Sesame Street Live! will be their first live theatrical experience and it means so much to myself and the cast to be a part of that," she said.
On her plans for the rest of the year, she said, "Right now I’m having such an incredible time touring the United States and entertaining families with Sesame Street Live! Let's Party! that I haven't focused on anything else! I would like to continue doing what I'm doing."
When asked what motivates her each day, Budinick responded, "Looking into the audience and seeing families enjoying the show together and making memories is what inspires me and is why I love what I do. It’s such a great experience as an entertainer to look out into the audience and see children and their parents or even grandparents dancing and singing along with us."
Digital transformation of Sesame Street
On the impact of technology on Sesame Street Live!, she said, "Advances in technology have allowed the Sesame Street Live! creative team to incorporate a large LED screen in the show. This LED screen is even a character in our show. His name is CB, which is short for Community Billboard. CB allows us to incorporate another element of interactivity into the show through game play. For instance, one of the games Big Bird plays with the audience is the Bird Game."
She continued, "The audience is divided into three groups: The Blue Owls, The Green Turkeys and the Red Birds. When a blue owl appears on CB’s screen, the audience members in the Blue Owl group 'hoot.' When a green turkey appears, the Green Turkey audience members 'gooble.' And when a red bird appears, the Red Bird audience members 'tweet!' Another game that we play with CB and the audience is 'Donde estan los animales?' In this game, three different animals appear on CB's screen and an animal sound is heard, then Elmo and Rosita ask the audience which one of the animals on CB's screen makes that noise."
As a performer and dance captain, Budinick uses technology in her daily routine. "Technology allows myself as well as my fellow cast members the opportunity to review our performance and continually improve, which as an artist is something you are always striving to do. Using video of our performances as a learning tool is a great asset and allows us to make adjustments to our performances instantly. With the use of portable or wireless speakers we can turn almost any location into a dance studio to brush up on our choreography," she explained.
Sesame Street Live!
Sesame Street Live!
Courtesy of Feld Entertainment
For Sesame Street fans, she concluded about the show, "I encourage Sesame Street fans to get their tickets to the show now, so that they can be part of the fun at the Sesame Street Live! community party at the Theater at Madison Square Garden from February 9 to 19."
To learn more about Sesame Street Live!, check out its official homepage.
More about Sesame Street Live, Ashley Budinick, Theater, Dance, New york
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