The Franklin School for the Performing Arts (FSPA) Ballet Conservatory presents three short ballets, Class Concert, Graduation Ball and Western Revelries, on Saturday, April 2, at 2:00 and 6:00 p.m. at THE BLACK BOX, 15 West Central Street, in downtown Franklin. The production features some 50 area dancers from FSPA’s Ballet Conservatory Division. The program, a mixed bill of distinct repertoire, highlights the dancers’ versatility and provides students with the opportunity to explore different facets of their technique.
Originally choreographed in the 1960s for the Bolshoi Ballet School, Class Concert follows the structure of a ballet class. FSPA Ballet Mistress Cheryl Madeux has taken the framework of this piece and restaged it for the FSPA dancers. Her choreography provides an opportunity to demonstrate the serious caliber of FSPA’s Ballet Conservatory training and to showcase dancers’ technique and precision. The ballet’s opening features younger students, and sections of the ballet progress in difficulty to show dancers’ development.
Graduation Ball, with original choreography by David Lichine, has been restaged for this FSPA production by Clyde Nantais and Madeux. Set at a fashionable Viennese finishing school for girls, with military academy cadets as guests of the party, Graduation Ball is a comedic, exuberant ballet. Choreographed to the music of Johann Strauss II, the ballet presents a wonderful variety of dances, and entertains with a delightful array of characters and lighthearted comedy. Guest performer Benjamin Kuefler, from Acton School of Ballet, will dance Graduation Ball’s Sylph pas de deux with FSPA’s Noura Sander, 15, of North Easton. Nantais will perform the part of the Headmistress (a character role often performed by a man “en travestie”), with Cassie Murdock as the General.
Aaron Copland provides the lively score to Western Revelries, which features dancing cowboys, chickadees and a turkey in the straw. Madeux performed the ballet herself as a young dancer. The ballet is choreographed by guest artist Donna Bonasera, who was Madeux’s teacher and coach throughout her training. Western Revelries is well suited to spotlight the theatrical talents of the FSPA dancers. “You need a lot of personality for this ballet,” notes Madeux, “so I thought it was a good fit.”
The Ballet Conservatory Division at FSPA provides training in classical ballet technique, pre-pointe, pointe, modern and character dance. The curriculum is based on the foundations of the Vaganova syllabus and incorporates the American Ballet Theatre (ABT) National Training curriculum.
For more information about the FSPA Ballet Conservatory program, call (508) 528-8668. To purchase tickets ($18 for adults and $15 for students/seniors) to the ballet production, visit www.FSPAonline.com.