Arts and Entertainment

Dancers reach for the stars in new work

Dancers include (front row, left to right) Meredith Wade, Victoria Trujillo, (back row, left to right) Eliza Holmes, Annelise Bogue and Ariana DeRyss. - Carrie Chunn photo
Dancers include (front row, left to right) Meredith Wade, Victoria Trujillo, (back row, left to right) Eliza Holmes, Annelise Bogue and Ariana DeRyss.
— image credit: Carrie Chunn photo

About the company

Vashon Junior Civic Ballet is a free program sponsored by the Vashon Park District. It is open to all members of the community who would like to dance or work backstage in two productions a year. The company currently includes 24 dancers, ages 4 to 24, who rehearse on Saturday afternoons at Ober Park. A summer dance camp for two age groups will be offered in August, and rehearsals for the company’s annual “Nutcracker Ballet” will begin in September. For more information, contact Vashon Park District at 463-9602.

Vashon Junior Civic Ballet’s spring ballet, “Stellar Suite,” a new original work celebrating the solar system, will showcase the talents of a small galaxy of young Island dancers.

The ballet will have its world premiere in the Vashon High School Theater at 7:30 p.m. Friday, June 6. Additional performances will take place at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 7. Tickets, $10 for adults and $5 for children ages 5 to 12, will be available at the door. Children under 5 are admitted free.

Kim Gallo, the company’s assistant director, promises an “out-of-this-world” experience for audiences, and a musical score that is soaring and sentimental.

“It combines the sophisticated music of Gustav Holst’s ‘The Planets’ with some fast and fun traditional Greek pieces,” Gallo said. “It will even include the sweet sound of Perry Como’s ‘Catch a Falling Star’ during a dance by our youngest cast members, who are playing the roles of shooting stars.”

Gallo credited Betsy Frazee, the company’s artistic director, with conceiving the otherworldly idea for the ballet, which begins with the creation of space and time, explores Big Bang theory, and then settles down for an exploration of the universe a little closer to home.

Solar Flares (Carrie Chunn, Kim Gallo and Lissy Nichols) and Men on the Moon (Jarrod Swenson and Eric Hanson) provide the kickoff to the ballet. The planets are represented by a waltzing Neptune (Julianna Goth and Sofie Uhlending) and Mercury (Lily Syfers and Kaydi Rosser). Jupiter (Ariana DeRyss), Uranus (Eliza Holmes), Saturn (Caitlin Willing) and Venus (Kaitlyn Davies) also take the stage for distinctive dances. After an angry Mars (Annelise Bogue) is chased away by planet Earth (Alexis Carleton), the ballet climaxes with the “Milky Way Waltz” — bringing the entire company together for a final view of the great, vast beyond.

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