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Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Arts and Entertainment

Chritina Arpp, kneeling, plays Aurora in “Sleeping Beauty.” Fairies in back are, from left: Zoe Stroebel-Haff, Alison Bray, Kaley Pruitt, Addy Mason, Estee Clifford and Kathleen Connor.

Stage awakens with ballet

Footlight dancers perform ‘Sleeping Beauty’

Express Staff Writer

This weekend the Footlight Dance Centre presents the classical ballet "Sleeping Beauty." The enchanting story comes to Community Campus theater Saturday, May 15 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, May 16 at 2 p.m. The performance celebrates the 20th anniversary for the dance school.

Director Hillarie Neely emphasized important parallel of the school’s anniversary with the production commenting: "How perfect to be doing "Sleeping Beauty" for our 20th year." Perfect, that is, because critics often think of the classical fairy tale as the crème de la crème of all ballets. This week’s performance continues the legacy of the classic tale.

The legacy began with the ballet’s 1890 premier in St. Petersburg, Russia. Choreographer Marius Petipa teamed with the music of Peter Tchaikovsky for the performance based on the fairy tale by Charles Perrault.

The storybook tale performed by Footlight dancers will be based on Petipa’s 19th-century choreography and will also incorporate jazz, modern, hip-hop and tap techniques. Neely added that the timing was right for the school to perform the quintessential classical ballet because "we have such strong dancers this year. We have the depth of talent for all the roles."

Christina Arpp, a senior at Wood River High School will dance the lead role of Aurora. Arpp is a Senior Company member who has danced with the company for 10 years. She will partner with 2003 Wood River High graduate Alex Stabler, dancing as Prince Charming. Stabler will join the performance as a guest artist from the Idaho Dance Theatre, though he danced with the Footlight company before joining Boise based company.

Talent from the other leads roles will include Kaley Pruitt dancing as the Lilac Fairy, Danielle Heiner, as the evil fairy Caraboose and Alice Bynum as the bluebird. A cast of 200 other Footlight Dance Centre students from age 5 to seniors in high school will carry the performance.

The "Sleeping Beauty" tale traces the struggle of good and evil and symbolizes the transition of a young woman into adulthood. The Footlight performance will dance through the passage of time with shifts in dance styles and music. The array of dance techniques draws from choreography by instructors Mitra Boloix, Denise deLisser, Shellrae Garnes, Yvette Hubbard, Julie Fox-Jones, Michele Minailo, Keri Payne, Pat Robinson and Anne Winton.

Neely commented that due to the "array of virtuosic dancing it will be really fun for the audience to see what the kids have accomplished."

For graduating seniors, the performance is their final accomplishment with the company. Those dancers include Arpp, Heiner, Alison Bray, Lara Jago, Calin O’Farrell, Kathleen Connor, Heather Fisher, Josie Renaud and Zoe Strobel-Haft.

Tickets are $5 for adults and $4 for children and seniors. The tickets are sold at Chapter One Bookstore in Ketchum and Read All About It in Hailey. Pre-purchase is recommended as the performance usually sells out.


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