Arts and Entertainment

Dancers will bring great works of art to life

Vashon Junior Civic Ballet dancers strike a pose from a famous painting by Edgar Degas in “Portraits in Motion.”  - Dennis Lambert Photo
Vashon Junior Civic Ballet dancers strike a pose from a famous painting by Edgar Degas in “Portraits in Motion.”
— image credit: Dennis Lambert Photo

More than two dozen young dancers will bring some of the world’s most famous paintings to life in “Portraits in Motion,” a new dance production by Vashon Junior Civic Ballet.

The dance concert was conceived and choreographed by Betsy Frazee, who directs the dance program for Vashon Park District.  

“We’ve been working on this since January,” said Frazee. “It’s really exciting, and I’m hoping it works out that it is something we can share with schools.”

A dozen different dances in the program are based on beloved works of art.

Alexis Carleton will interpret John Singer Sargent’s “Madame X,” and Lily Syfers will appear in a piece inspired by the “Mona Lisa.”

Sophie Uhlending will be the principal dancer in a piece based on Edvard Munch’s anguished painting “The Scream,” and Thomas Gainsboro’s “The Blue Boy” will be captured by Keanu Roush. 

Another piece, danced by Annelise Bogue, will illustrate Vermeer’s “The Girl with the Pearl Earring,” and even Grant Wood’s stoic “American Gothic” will get a dance treatment by Kaydi Rosser and Keanu Roush.

The company’s youngest dancers will have a chance to shine in a piece that takes off on Van Gogh’s sunflowers paintings, and the company’s entire ensemble will come together to perform a dance based on Degas’ famous paintings of ballerinas.

The show will also include eight other short dances performed by Junior Civic Ballet students.

Frazee said the rehearsal process for the show has been a great learning experience for her students.

“It is exciting to see the energy of the group embracing the importance of their paintings,” she said. “They learned about art history, social history and biographical details of the works they would interpret in dance.”


Portraits in Motion” will be performed at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, May 13 and 14, and 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, May 14 and 15, at Vashon High School. Tickets, on sale at the door, are $12 for adults and $7 for students and seniors.



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