USC Dance Conservatory presents "Hansel and Gretel"
May 24 - May 25, 2013
The USC Dance Conservatory, the university’s training program for young dancers, will present Hansel and Gretel May 24-25 at Drayton Hall Theatre.
With artistic direction by Kerri Lambert (Conservatory Administrative Director) and Melinda Chester (Instructor), students ranging in age from 3 to adult will perform the timeless story about a brother and sister lost in the woods who find themselves lured into the trap of an evil witch. Lambert and Chester choreographed the story ballet and wrote an original libretto for this adaptation of Grimm's fairy tale, which they have set to music by Mendelssohn and Humperdinck (Hansel and Gretel, the opera).
The performance marks the end of a year of intense training for the students in the Conservatory, who have been rehearsing since February.
"The dance training and the development of focus, discipline, and commitment all occur in the studio during the year," says Lambert. "A stage performance is our chance to celebrate all that effort."
Performing a narrative ballet also gives the young dancers a chance to turn movement into story telling. "All the dancers benefit from portraying characters, rather than simply performing steps," explains Lambert. "It's more challenging for our advanced dancers, in that they have to play a role and appear multiple times in the ballet to carry the storyline, and it's more fun for our younger dancers, who enjoy appearing with the advanced students."
Real-life brother and sister Aidan and Vivien Toumey will portray the titular characters. Professional ballet dancer Sam Chester (Carolina Ballet Theatre) appears as their father, the Woodcutter. The role of their mother is being played by Amanda Fairchild, an assistant professor in the USC Department of Psychology (and adult student of the Conservatory).
The end result is a ballet that's not just enriching for the student performers, but entertaining for audiences of all ages.
"Story ballets are always more appealing," Lambert says. "Audiences can enjoy the charm of the young dancers and the talent of our advanced students within the context of a classic tale we all know and love. And children love to see dancers their own age on stage."
Hansel and Gretel will have performances at 6pm on May 24th and 2pm on May 25th. Tickets are $12 for students, $16 for USC faculty/staff, military and seniors 60+, and $18 for the general public. Reservations can be made by calling (803) 777-5112; charge by phone at (803) 251-2222. Drayton Hall Theatre is located at 1214 College St.
For more information about Hansel and Gretel, the USC Dance Conservatory or the programs of the USC Department of Theatre and Dance, please contact Kevin Bush by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via phone at (803) 777-9353.
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