Ballerinas present diverse range of ballet, including Raymonda Variations, contemporary ballet pieces, and original works.
After weeks of rehearsals and classes, BYU’s Theatre Ballet company presents this year’s Ballet Showcase. The performance, which takes place on Nov. 16 and 17, offers a collection of classical and contemporary ballet.
“The concert has a wide range of ballets,” said Suzi Wood, the artistic director for the showcase. “They range from the ‘Raymonda Divertisements’, which is very classical, to several original contemporary ballets choreographed by several of our ballet faculty and one of our students, Hattie Shepherd.”
Shepherd, whose piece is titled “Et si je manque ça?,” commented, “It has been a pleasure to work with the dancers; they have all been so diligent in their preparation for the show and I am looking forward to seeing their hard work pay off as they perform!”
The dancers’ preparation and rehearsals have been extensive. At minimum, they rehearse for 11 hours a week. Mady McCook, one of the ballerinas involved, said, “There are times where being at these long rehearsals is very tiring and times where it is just enjoyable. Every Saturday, we have a five-hour rehearsal beginning at 7 a.m., so we are tired before it even starts.”
The choreography is challenging, but the dancers don’t mind.
“You definitely feel it in the feet,” said ballerina Analise Larkin, “but I love making our choreographers proud. It’s kind of fun to push my own limits and see the progress I can make. I love being there. I love dancing. Even when I feel like I’m just going to fall on the floor, it’s worth it.”
McCook said of the Raymonda Variations: “I enjoy performing in this piece because it is extremely challenging for me as far as the steps on pointe, and I love a good challenge. It’s very easy to smile in this dance and I truly am having a blast performing it, but no one sees the heavy breathing that goes on backstage.”
“We do have our choreographer, Shani, who’s adventurous. Sometimes she says, ‘I don’t really know if this is physically possible, but can you try?’ That’s been fun,” added Larkin.
McCook hopes that audiences will appreciate the variety on display in the showcase. “Come because there are such a variety of styles that will keep the audience entertained,” she said. “In our performance, we have two classical ballet pieces, a neoclassical ballet piece and two contemporary ballet pieces. All are vastly different from each other.”
“It’s a great show,” added Larkin. “I think it’s a really good opportunity to become more cultured in the dance world. It’s a fantastic way to appreciate the art form and to show some support and some respect. I think that there’s a lot of variety in it. There’s something for everyone.”
Tickets to the Ballet Showcase are available at the ticket offices at the Marriott Center and at the Harris Fine Arts Center. You can also order them online here.