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Triple the performances, triple the fun: Dance Arts Theatre presents three ballets | Kitsap Week

From left, Robyn Harvey of Poulsbo Middle School portrays the Queen Ant and Ashyia Wainright of Central Kitsap Junior High School portrays the Grasshopper in the Dance Arts Theatre production of “The Ant and the Grasshopper,” March 23-24, in Bremerton.            - Dance Arts Theatre
From left, Robyn Harvey of Poulsbo Middle School portrays the Queen Ant and Ashyia Wainright of Central Kitsap Junior High School portrays the Grasshopper in the Dance Arts Theatre production of “The Ant and the Grasshopper,” March 23-24, in Bremerton.
— image credit: Dance Arts Theatre

SILVERDALE — Sixty-five cast members. Three plays. One weekend.

Irene Miller of Dance Arts Theatre is undaunted.

“The last time we did this was in 2007 and it went really well,” Miller said. “They are three different types of productions. For ‘Cinderella,’ we use the real classical music by Prokofiev. ‘The Ant and the Grasshopper’ and ‘Fox Hunt’ are short pieces. It’s all ballet, but there is variety in the program.”

Dance Arts Theatre is presenting ballet versions of three classic stories, in this order: “Fox Hunt,” “Ant and the Grasshopper” and “Cinderella” March 23, 7 p.m., and March 24, 2 p.m., in the Bremerton High School Performing Arts Center.

Reserved-section seats are $20, general admission tickets are $15, admission for seniors, students and 18 and younger is $10.

General tickets are available at Silverdale Chamber of Commerce, CJ’s Evergreen General Store in Bremerton, and Reserved tickets are available at Irene’s School of Dance in Silverdale, from cast members, and at the door. Group rates for organizations are available; call (360) 692-4395.

When you sit back and watch these productions, know this: This is a feast of talent — company cast members have been dancing for five to 14 years — and logistical organization.

“Fox Hunt” is 12 minutes in length and has a cast of 20. “The Ant and the Grasshopper” is 25 minutes and has a cast of 24. “Cinderella” is 55 minutes and has a cast of 65. Each production has its own set and backdrops; “Cinderella” features a ballroom scene with arches and chandeliers. Working behind the scenes: Approximately 125 parents.

“Our parents have to be involved,” Miller said. “They work behind the scenes, build props, do publicity and fundraising, plus they also have to work back stage one night.”

Whew. Now that you know what it took to put on the productions, you can sit back and enjoy them.

Dance Arts Theatre’s senior company will perform “Fox Hunt.” In this story, the little fox is asleep in a woodland glade. She awakens to the songs of the birds. A hunting horn heard in the distance frightens her and she looks for a place to hide. She hears the beat of horses’ hooves and the hunting horn coming closer, calling the hunters to assemble. She flees into the woods when the hunters appear.

The hunt continues through the forest and cross-country. The little fox, out of breath, is finally caught by the hunters but manages to escape and leaps out of their grasp to return to the forest.

The Fox will be performed by Ella Hazzard, ninth grader, Ridgetop Junior High School; the Bugler, by Macrina Sevillano, ninth grader, North Kitsap High School.

Dance Arts Theatre’s Junior Company will perform the “Ant and the Grasshopper.” You might remember the story: Once upon a time there lived a lazy grasshopper who played the fiddle and enjoyed the sunshine. The forest creatures enjoyed his music and came to listen and to dance — all except the ants, for they were always busy working.

The Queen Ant was very annoyed with the Grasshopper. When winter came, the Grasshopper had no place to go, for he had not thought of building a nest for himself, and he had nothing to eat. He soon realized that he too should have been working instead of playing all day.

The Queen Ant will be performed by Robyn Harvey, eighth grader, Poulsbo Middle School. The Grasshopper will be performed by Ashyia Wainright, seventh grader, Central Kitsap Junior High School.

According to Miller, the first full-length version of the ballet “Cinderella” was performed at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow in 1945. The music was composed by Sergei Prokofiev, who dedicated the score to his great predecessor, the ballet composer Tchaikovsky.

The first version of the Prokofiev ballet in the Western World was given by the Royal Ballet at Covent Garden in London in 1948, with choreography by Frederick Ashton. “The roles of the Stepsisters have traditionally been played by men, relating these roles to the traditions of English pantomime,” Miller said. “The ballet was first performed in the United States by the Royal Ballet in 1949, on its first visit to America.”

Here are the lead dancers in “Cinderella". 
Cinderella: Shannon Sandy, junior, North Kitsap High School.
Prince: Lukas Wood, senior, Central Kitsap High School/Running Start.
Stepsisters: Jessica James, senior, Olympic High School/Running Start; Katie Presley, Olympic College.
Fairy Godmother: Mekenzie Thompson, junior, Klahowya High School. 
Spring Fairy: Krystal  Jimenez, senior, Bremerton High School.
Summer Fairy: Elisha Claghorn, senior, Bremerton High School.
Autumn Fairy: Kiley Hansen, graduate of Bremerton High School. 
Winter Fairy: Darla Balbarona, junior, Central Kitsap High School.

“Cinderella” follows an intermission. You can enjoy cookies and punch, enter a raffle, and view displays of photos of company members and the production.

Miller is artistic director of Dance Arts Theatre, and owner and director of Irene’s School of Dance in Silverdale. Dance Arts Theatre is a nonprofit organization ( dedicated to the cultural enrichment of the community through the dance arts. Dancers in the company range in age from 11 to 22.

Dance Arts Theatre has presented two productions a year since its founding in 1979.


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