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 Antelope Valley Ballet: A Midsummer Night's Dream

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Kara
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Registration date : 2008-01-18

PostSubject: Antelope Valley Ballet: A Midsummer Night's Dream   Mon May 05, 2008 11:20 am

Shakespeare on pointe!

I took my six-year old daughter to see Antelope Valley Ballet's production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" this weekend (Sunday, May 4, 2 p.m. matinee) at the Lancaster Performing Arts Center. What a lovely show, and what amazing dance talent we have right under our noses here in the Antelope Valley!

AVB pulls its talent from dance schools all over the area, including Extensions, Laity, Dance Magic, Dance Evolutions, and Dancin' In Acton.

Under the guidence of gifted Artistic Director Kathleen Burnett, the dancers of AVB solidly told the timeless story of love, trickery, and magic. All theatrical elements (sound, scenery, lighting, costumes, hair & makeup, and acting/dancing) came together so well in this performance. Particularly noteworthy was Ms. Burnett's ability to direct her actors to do so much more than simply dance--facial expressions and mime were instrumental in helping to establish characters and tell the story. At times, the antics were laugh-out-loud funny. This was an excellent lesson in communication without language, and AVB did it magnificently.

The choreography of this story was equally impressive. Moving a great number of dancers around the stage is clearly one of Ms. Burnett's fortes. Dancers ranged in age from approximately 5 years old to adult, and each group of dancers, from the very youngest ones, really held their own. Oftentimes I get the sense that community ballet companies add small children to the performances merely for the "cute" factor. These youngsters (admittedly adorable!) shined here as gifted up-and-coming dancers in their own right and served a solid purpose with their addition to the performance.

The ballet was further enhanced by the AVB's core group: its Artists In Residence, who comprised the bulk of the lead dance roles (Oberon, Titania, Puck, Theseus...). and who each bring their own distinct styles to the group. AVB also has an exceptionally strong group of male dancers (Christoper Anderson, Zachary Leighton, Jesse Marks) who are each strong, athletic, powerful dancers. These young men definitely prove that ballet is NOT just for girls.

My daughter, a young dancer herself, was so inspired by this talented group, too. She left feeling energized and with a definite sense of the story portrayed. If AVB can make Shapkespeare accessible to a six-year old, then I say BRAVO!

AVB's next show will be the well-loved classic, The Nutcracker, performing December 14 & 15. Auditions will be held in September.
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QuantumCowboy
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PostSubject: Re: Antelope Valley Ballet: A Midsummer Night's Dream   Mon May 05, 2008 1:18 pm

This sounds great Kara! I've never been to either a ballet or the LPAC. Perhaps I need to get around to both. Lemon Leaf is just down the street, who's up for dinner and a show sometime?

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"Acting is all about honesty... if you can fake that, you've got it down." --Oscar Wilde.
"You must unlearn what you have learned." --Yoda, Jedi Master.
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