Mark Twain alums come back to celebrate their film

Students enjoy scenes from ‘High Strung Free Dance’

CONEY ISLAND — Lucky students at Mark Twain Intermediate School for the Gifted and Talented got a special peek at scenes from a new Hollywood movie before the film’s opening date, thanks to two alums who are members of the creative team behind the film and who came back to their alma mater to inspire Brooklyn kids.

Executive Producer Cheri Golub and Choreographer Tyce Diorio got a hero’s welcome when they visited Mark Twain I.S. on Oct. 7 to show the trailer and a couple of scenes from their highly anticipated film “High Strung Free Dance.” Directed by Michael Damian, the movie depicts the love and rivalry taking place behind the scenes of a Broadway show and contains lots of music and dance numbers.

The film, which stars Juliet Doherty, Thomas Doherty, Harry Jarvis and Jane Seymour, opens in theaters on Oct. 11.

ebrooklyn media/Photos by Paula Katinas
The students were excited to welcome their movie world visitors.

Diorio, who graduated from Mark Twain I.S. in 1985, and Golub, a member of the Class of 1986, brought along one of the movie’s stars, Harry Jarvis, to meet the students.

Golub, Diorio and Jarvis entered the auditorium to deafening cheers from the students and then stood on stage and encouraged the youngsters to pursue their artistic dreams.

Mark Twain I.S. has programs in drama, dance, vocal and sports.

“I remember performing on this very stage,” said Golub, who started out in the school’s vocal program and then switched to drama. The school gave her a good start, she told the students. “You take what you learn here and you take it with you the rest of your life,” she said.

She recalled seeing Diorio perform in a talent show when they were both students. “I was mesmerized. When he danced, he defied gravity. He was destined for stardom,” she said.

Diorio, who won an Emmy Award in 2009, has choreographed dances for superstars like Taylor Swift, Jennifer Lopez and Janet Jackson. He is also well known for serving as a guest judge on the Fox television series “So You Think You Can Dance.”

“I haven’t been here in a long time but it is great to be here,” Diorio said as he stood on the stage looking out at hundreds of young faces. “It’s really cool to be back and see you guys. I’m sure many of you have dreams and aspirations.”

Photo courtesy of Sicily Publicity
Harry Jarvis and Juliet Doherty arrive at a Broadway show audition in this scene from “High Strung Free Dance.”

Jarvis, a British actor, portrays a piano player in “High Strung Free Dance.” He admitted that he hasn’t kept up with his piano playing since the film shoot was completed last year. “I haven’t played piano in a year since the movie,” he said.

After enjoying the film’s trailer and two scenes, the students had a treat for Golub, Diorio and Jarvis. The kids took the stage, and danced and sang to music from the film. The show business people were impressed. “You guys are really talented,” Jarvis told them.

Karen DiTolla, the school’s principal, said the visit provided “a morning of fantastic spirit and energy.”

The movie-makers wanted “to come back and share with you parts of their journey,” she told the students.

DiTolla also announced that Golub and Diorio would be enshrined in the Mark Twain I.S. Alumni Hall of Fame.

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