Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Celebrate the Sun Valley Ballet School

Spring performance shows off valley talent

Express Staff Writer

The Sun Valley Ballet School highlights its senior company. Seated are Tanner Dredge and Kelly Collins. Standing from left to right are Nina Hirner, Allison Rust, Kelsey Brennan, Ross Clifford, Austin Sutton, Charlie Lewallen and Kathryn Caminiti. Not pictured are Allison Sher and Rika Pere. Photo by

A veritable sign that spring has arrived is the Sun Valley Ballet School's "Spring Showcase 2008" performance. Every spring the ballet school presents all the school's dancers—135 students—from ages 3 to adults, in a special springtime dance event.

The show will take place at the nexStage Theatre in Ketchum on Thursday, May 15, and Friday, May 16. Both shows start at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students and will be available at the door.

Three-year-olds will take the stage for their very first performance. They are known to capture the hearts of the entire audience. The young creative-movement dancers include Sofia Calcagno, Maddie Corkery, Jacqueline Cronin, Charley Harding, Jenni Hoopes, Keyle Potts, Sascha Sullivan, Kaia Wolfrom, Nora Blamires, Channing Curci, Lily Dean, Lily Enos, Olivia Gove, Saba Grossman, Isabella Maurtua, Audrey O'Hara and Jacklyn Poppen.

However, the stage-stealing performance is the senior company. This year, seniors will dance beyond their traditional routines, covering modern and lyrical ballet. Expect to see an array of talent and music in the relaxed atmosphere of the nexStage Theatre.

Four seniors will be saying their good-byes to the ballet school—Allison Rust, Ross Clifford, Austin Sutton and Charlie Lewallen. Rust has been dancing with the ballet school for most of her young life, performing in principal roles such as the Little Mermaid in "The Little Mermaid," the Snow Queen and the Russian Sugar Twist in "the Nutcracker" and the Lion in "The Wizard of Oz."

Clifford has danced the past two years with the ballet school's young ladies, supporting them in many paux de deux's as well as dancing with professional dancer Jermaine Rembert as a sailor in "The Little Mermaid." For the past few years, Sutton and Lewallen have brought their personalities and emerging talents to the heart of the senior company.

Next year, ballet aficionados can look forward to two more productions and the continuation of the holiday traditional performance of "The Nutcracker" with professional dancer Todd Fox.

For details, call 726-9876.

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