Wednesday, May 11, 2011

‘Mary Poppins’ to fly in valley

Footlight Dance Centre to perform classic tale

Express Staff Writer

Footlight Dance Centre will present “Mary Poppins” at the Community Campus in Hailey on Saturday, May 14, and Sunday, May 15. Photo by Aubrey Stephens

Mary Poppins will no longer be a figment of the imagination when the Footlight Dance Centre performs the classic tale through dance for its spring show. The Footlight Dance Centre will premiere its version of "Mary Poppins," under the artistic direction of Hilarie Neely at the Community Campus Theatre in Hailey on Saturday, May 14, at 7 p.m. and Sunday, May 15, at 2 p.m.

Dylan Peterson will dance the role of Mary Poppins and Mariah Davis will dance the role of Bert. They are graduating seniors who have been with the Footlight Dance Centre program for many years.

Other leads include senior Tori Poole as Mrs. Banks, Alberta Jefferson as Mr. Banks and two young dancers, Bryn Downey and Samantha White, as Jane and Michele Banks. The show will also include company dancers and seniors Dakota Barnes and Mia Jefferson. Also to perform in the show will be dancers Ingrid Peterson, Anne Heiner, Annette Taylor, Courtney Skeahan and Emmie Altermatt.

"Mary Poppins" will be told through ballet, modern, jazz, hip-hop and tap dance. There are 160 talented young dancers who will grace the stage for this production.

"Over the years, I have been asked to do it," Neely said. "It takes a special group of people to perform it. I know we have the correct characters, and I have the perfect kids."

The Wood River Community Orchestra will provide live music including the Overture, "Feed the Birds" and "Chim Chim Cheree."

This year, the show includes a father-daughter partnering piece for the song "Stay Awake" during the Lullaby Ballet scene. Two years ago, company dancers started to have partnering classes with their dads as a way to get them involved with their daughters and to help them interact and appreciate all the work that goes into dancing. Now, the Footlight Dance Centre company decided there was enough confidence to put the fathers on the stage. Neely said the dance is sure to "warm everyone's hearts."

Choreography for the show includes instructors Shellrae Garnes, Julie Fox-Jones, Michele Minailo, Hilarie Neely, Kate Weihe, Anne Winton and guest choreographers Dantzel Cherry and Jaime Moore. Original Victorian costumes for the leads were created by Michele Minailo.

This Footlight Dance Centre performance is sponsored in part by the Blaine County Recreation District. The Footlight Dance Centre brings programs to children ages' 4 years old through high school throughout the year at their main studio at the Community Campus in Hailey, with additional satellite studios at Nia of Sun Valley in Ketchum and the Grange Hall in Hailey.

Tickets are $6 and available in advance at Iconoclast Books in Ketchum and the Yellow Brick Road in central Hailey. Pre-sold tickets are encouraged.

For details, call 578-5462 or visit

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