ArtsLink's Holiday Magic Ballet Series starts off with a splash as Oglebay Institute's Youth Ballet Company presents an adaptation of Hans Christian Anderson's classic tale "The Little Mermaid". Appropriate for the whole family, the ballet takes place at 3 p.m., Oct. 14, at the Lincoln Theater. Students from the local All Valley School of Dance will also be performing.
Oglebay Institute's Youth Ballet Company stages public performances of a classical ballet each fall, and director of dance Cheryl Pompeo says this provides an opportunity for dance students to experience the "magical feeling" that comes from performing timeless classics for an audience and the public, particularly children, with an introduction to this "beautiful art form."
"We welcome children and families to our performances. We want to encourage children to experience classical ballet and fall in love with the art form," she said.
J’lyse Kafana dances the role of Ariel in Oglebay Institute’s production of “The Little Mermaid.” Appropriate for the whole family, the ballet takes place at 3 p.m., Sunday, at the Lincoln Theater in downtown New Martinsville.
Pompeo explained that ballets adapted from popular fairy tales are especially appropriate for children because of the powerful storytelling involved.
"Many children grow up reading fairy tales written by Hans Christian Andersen. This production blends the enchanting story of a mermaid who falls in love with a human prince with delightful music and dance performed live on the stage. It has all the elements and characters, such as the love-struck mermaid, a handsome prince, and a conniving sea witch, that capture the attention of young audience members."
According to Pompeo, attending performances by local ballet companies is a great introduction to ballet, a way to have a special date with your child and provides arts education at the same time.
"Building a love for the arts comes from having great memories that are established as a child. At Oglebay Institute, as with ArtsLink, we are proud to help create these experiences for not only our students but also for the people in our community," she said.
Principal dancers in Oglebay Institute's performance of "The Little Mermaid" are: J'lyse Kafana and Sydney Glessner as Ariel, Liam Chapman Casey as the Prince, Ava Tennant as the Sea Witch, Peter J. Lim as Triton and Morgan McCool as Athena.
Other cast members include: Kate Adase, Jacie Baker, Audrey Blust, Alyasia Botizan, Ally Carson, Claire Carson, Katherine Carson, Maddie Cisar, Maddy Crawford, Jordan Crow, Megan Donzella, McKenna Dunbar, Adelaide Estep, Kelsey Glessner, Lucy Hartzell, Ali Irvin, Rebekah Jones, Sarah Jones, Olivia Kale, Lexie Kosanovic, Madeline Mandel, Marina McGinley, Audra Ream, Adrianna Shellhase, Lucretia Shumate, Kristina Slivchenko, Bailey Stevenson, Carly Stewart, Jaelee Thompson, Laura Tighe, Maddy Tiu, and Anna Turani.
Tickets for "The Little Mermaid" are $10 for adults and $6 for children under 12 years of age, and are available at the door. Theater parties are welcome, with a discount for groups over 10 people. The final installment of this year's Holiday Magic Ballet Series is a performance of "The Nutcracker" by the Mid Ohio Valley Ballet Company on Dec. 3 at 7 p.m. A special package price for both ballets is $15 for adults and $9 for children under 12. Call 304-455-2278 for more information.
ArtsLink's Holiday Magic Ballet Series is sponsored by Marble King. Intermission refreshments are provided by Occasions Florist and Gifts. Additional support for this program is made possible with financial assistance from The City of New Martinsville Parks & Recreation Commission, West Virginia Northern Community College, WETZ/WYMJ Radio, Dominion, and Ohio Valley Online. Grant funding provided by the West Virginia Division of Culture and History and the National Endowment for the Arts, with approval from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts. ArtsLink is committed to providing universal accessibility wherever possible. Persons with special needs may contact us at 304-455-2278 to request assistance.