Berlin Residents, Ballet Theatre Company Presents 'Gwendolyn the Graceful Pig'

Performance is this weekend at Carol Autorino Center for the Arts and Humanities on the Saint Joseph College Campus.


Release submitted by Ballet Theatre Company

(BTC) of West Hartford, Connecticut, presents its 14th annual spring performance season on Saturday May 5, at the .

The featured work is the premiere of “Gwendolyn the Graceful Pig,” a one-act ballet based on the children’s book by David Ira Rottenberg. These performances will be narrated by Mr. Rottenberg.

Under the artistic direction of Roman Baca, the ballet has additional choreography by Ruth Vesenka Lewis, Carolyn Paine and Kate Sulikowski. The original music was composed by Andre van Haren based on original musical ideas by Kathy Maskell.

Costume design and execution is by Catherine Savino. In the lead roles of Gwendolyn and her friend Omar are Taylor Gordon and Aaron Atkins. Both Gordon and Atkins dance with New York’s Exit 12 Dance Company as well as BTC’s Nutcracker.

In the role of Natasha, the Russian ballet teacher is Lisa Fitzgerald, also of Exit 12 Dance. Fitzgerald performed the role of the Sugar Plum Fairy in the 2010 and 2011 Nutcrackers.

Rottenberg will  have a discussion and book signing following the performance. BTC’s junior company, and 20 additional children from Ballet Theatre Academy, will be performing as well.

Also on the program is Après Degas, choreographed by Marguerite de Anguera circa 1975 for the Connecticut Valley Regional Ballet. The choreography for this comic spoof on the ballet paintings by Edgar Degas has been reconstructed by BTC Executive Director Tracy Dorman, and will feature professional artists from BTC’s Nutcracker and the BTC junior company dancers.

“Wyeth”, choreographed by Ruth Vesenka Lewis brings to life three paintings by Andrew Wyeth that are currently on display in the Wyeth exhibition at the Wadsworth Atheneum. Professional artists Matisse Madden and Arien Wilkerson will be joined by students Lavinia Kosher, Mollie Petrizzo, Maya Rose or Amy Hildalgo.

“Pandora’ s Box”, a tale from Greek Mythology is choreographed by Carolyn Paine will be danced by Alex Zarlengo, Alison Greene and Megan Leary.

Rounding out the program is the spectacular grand pas de deux from “Le Corsaire” danced by Lisa Fitzgerald and Steven Ezra Marshall. Marshall, a dancer with Momix, is making his first appearance with Ballet Theatre Company. He trained at the Nutmeg Conservatory and School of American Ballet. He has performed principal roles with Momix and will be a major contributor in the creation of a new Momix show due next year. For nine years he has toured extensively around the world, to over 20 countries, and across the U.S. and Hawaii.

Two dancers in BTC’s Junior Company are from Berlin; Margot Paul an 8th grader at McGee School, and Megan Leary a freshman at Berlin High School. They attended rehearsals in New York City with the professional dancers. Paul, Leary, and the other 5 Junior Company dancers will be performing in “Gwendolyn the Graceful Pig” and “Après Degas”. Megan Leary and Alison Greene of West Hartford will also be performing in “Pandora’s Box”.

Also from Berlin and performing in “Gwendolyn the Graceful Pig” is Anastasia Houle a student at Saint Paul School.

Ballet Theatre Company is supported in part by the United Arts Campaign of the Greater Hartford Arts Council and the CT Office of the Arts, Department of Economic and Community Development, Fund for Greater Hartford, Edward C. and Ann T. Roberts Foundation, and J. Walton Bissell Foundation. Ballet Theatre Company is a 501c-3 not-for profit organization.

Performances will take place Saturday May 5 at 1 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. at the Carol Autorino Center for the Arts and Humanities on the Saint Joseph College Campus, 1678 Asylum Avenue, West Hartford, CT 06117.

For tickets call 860-570-0440 or visit www.dancebtc.org. Tickets are $30; seniors - $25; children 12 and under - $20.


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