Thursday, May 3, 2012

Lake Charles Civic Ballet Presents Spring Performance

Lake Charles Civic Ballet presents its Spring 2012 performance, Sunday, May 20, 3:00 PM at the Rosa Hart Theatre. Admission is Free. The ballet company will present four works, including Stars and Stripes and Sheer Whimsy, both classics from the LCCB Repertoire and new works from Elizabeth Gates and Andrew Anderson, as well as pieces featuring students of Lady Leah Lafargue School of the Dance. 

Stars and Stripes
Photo by Danley Romero
In classic LCCB style, Stars and Stripes beautifully displays the athleticism of the organization's performing company members. This patriotic crowd pleaser is perfect in this bicentennial year for Louisiana! The dancers demonstrate lightening fast pointe work in one of the variations performed by Adelaide Saucier, Katelyn Chargois, Margaret Lie, and Ashley Eaves. In another section, Anne Veillon, Tristan Morgan, Annabelle Bang, and Julia Basone dance with force through petit and grand allegro jumping combinations. And no tribute would be complete without our military men, Andrew Anderson and Adrian Durham. With strength, confidence, and ease, they partner the lovely ladies and LCCB, giving the audience the illusion that these red, white & blue beauties are floating like the stars on Old Glory!

Room for Happiness is a new work choreographed for the Spring Performance by Andrew Anderson. Set to electronic compositions, Fortune Soul by Blackmill and Room for Happiness by Kaskade, the piece has a modern feel. "I wanted to play with the contradicting emotions in the two different pieces of music. Fortune Soul is an upbeat melody with strong beats, very positive and feeing, while Room for Happiness is broken-hearted and distant but still with an uplifting message. The theme would be the struggle of breaking down the barriers that you fight with on a day to day basis, whether it be spiritual, emotional, mental, or physical."

According to Elizabeth Gates, Psalm of Spring was inspired by Spring itself. Ms. Gates selected Handel's Water Music Allegro for this work, and choreographed it on Adelaid Saucier, Katelyn Chargois, and Ashley Eaves. The piece premiered at the November 2011 Sneak Preview and Behind the Scenes with LCCB event at Central School Theatre, hosted by Heather Ieyoub of KVHP/FOX29. Gates says, "This Handel piece, in particular, was so vibrant I just imagined dancers in the place of rushing water of a stream or brook. I imagined after all the ice has melted off the hills and rocks and the water rushes out, giving life to all that need it. I really just wanted to play with the musicality of the dancers in the space; the pure joy of Spring beauty, movement, and music were my inspirations."

Sheer Whimsy
Photo by Danley Romero
Sheer Whimsy, created by Lady Leah Lafargue Hathaway, debuted in 1983 and has been pulled out of the LCCB repertoire once again. It is the story of a sad, male mime (Anderson) who cannot be cheered by the five happy female mimes (Saucier, Chargois, Lie, Eaves, Veillon), despite their best efforts! They coax him with bouquets of flowers that spring open in concert with the choreography. Finally, one of the girls (Saucier) determines that the only way to change his mood is to re-paint his mouth into a smile! Sure enough, the male mime is delighted when he sees his reflection and he joins the girls in the joyous finale. This piece calls to mind the voiceless comedy of Chaplin and provides enthralling character work and expression to draw the audience into the story.

For more information like Lake Charles Civic Ballet on facebook, follow @LC_CivicBallet on Twitter, or visit www.lakecharlescivicballet.comThe Lake Charles Civic Ballet is a 501c3 non-profit organization supported by grants from the Louisiana State Arts Council through the Louisiana Division of the Arts, City of Lake Charles, Calcasieu Parish Police Jury, Southwest Louisiana Convention and Visitors Bureau as administered by the Arts and humanities Council of Southwest Louisiana. LCCB received the 2001 Mayor’s Arts Organization of the Year Award.

Central School Theatre Dedicated to Ben Mount

From left: Ann Knapp; Senator Willie Mount; Friends of Central School chairperson Laura Leach
This past Saturday, Friends of Central School and the City of Lake Charles dedicated Central School's theatre to the late Ben Mount. Without the vision and dedication of Ben, we simply would not have Central School today as a comprehensive arts and cultural center for the region. It is with great excitement that our theatre has been renamed the Benjamin W. Mount Auditorium. If you missed out on the day's events, you can still come by Central School to see Central School: A Visual History in the Black Heritage Gallery which exhibits photographs and artifacts from the center's past as a historic elementary school. You can also purchase Friends of Central School t-shirts and ornaments on the Arts Council's website.