The Times West Virginian

March 6, 2014

Three acts featured in family-friendly show scheduled March 15-16

By Chelsi Baker
Times West Virginian

FAIRMONT — Morgantown Dance and Morgantown Ballet Company will present “The Magical Carnival of Dance” at the Metropolitan Theatre in Morgantown next weekend.

The family-friendly show will feature three acts: “The Carnival of Animals,” “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” and “Premieres!”

“The Carnival of Animals” is a piece that embodies the sound of animals through music and features 14 orchestral movements, all composed by Camille Saint-Saen.

“The Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” which was choreographed by Lavinia Reid of the Chambersburg Ballet Theatre School and Company in Chambersburg, Pa., tells the story of an apprentice who tries to use magic to finish his chores. However, he finds after waking up from a nap that the plan has gone awry.

The final act is “Premieres!” which is performed by the Morgantown Ballet Company. It features acts created by choreographers Kellie Hodges, Kiesha Lalama and the show’s director, Daniel Karasik.

Guests who purchase tickets in advance can add a special presentation called “Behind the Scenes.” They will be able to watch the dancers’ warmup routines, talk to choreographers, learn about the costuming process and get a better idea of what it takes to produce a ballet.

They will also be offered special seating options for the show with the presentation.

Seventy-five cast members make up the “Carnival of Dance,” which is the company’s spring production.

It holds two ballets each year — one in the fall and one in the spring.

Morgantown Dance held open auditions in December for the show and invited anyone from any company or organization to try out.

Dancers from the Morgantown, Clarksburg and Fairmont area, as well as Maryland and Pennsylvania, will perform.

The company itself offers classes for students ages 3 to adult, and the production will feature a cast of students ranging from ages 5 to adult.

Cast members range in ability from beginners to very advanced students, said Morgantown Dance volunteer and board of directors member Cathy Allen.

“Our mission at Morgantown Dance is to educate the public about dance and create an environment where our students can learn about dance,” she said. “We try to create parts for all levels, even if they’re beginners.”

All dancers have school and work, and they have dedicated their free time on weekends to rehearsals.

“They get very excited. Even the adults,” said Allen. “It’s a chance for them to perform onstage, which most of them really enjoy, and it helps them share their enthusiasm for dance with the public and show people what they’re learning. It’s a very nice experience. They do put in a lot of hours, so they want to show people what they’ve been doing during that time.”

Morgantown Dance and Morgantown Ballet Company are part of the Northern West Virginia Dance Council and are a nonprofit arts organization.

“Carnival of Dance” performances are at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. March 15, and at 2:30 p.m. March 16.

The “Behind the Scenes” presentation will take place from 12:45-1:45 p.m. before the 2:30 p.m. shows on both days.

Guests can purchase tickets at www.morgantowndance.org.

Email Chelsi Baker at cbaker@timeswv.com or follow her on Twitter @cbakerTWV.