History of the Ballet:
1996, 1997, 1998
Held at Seaside Convention Center, Seaside OR. First Version had Tide Pool Critters. next year, C-Town Scene was added. The plot remained thin and only a few dances supported the plot. Public school students were invited to become part of the show and about a dozen danced who had never danced before. Ballet Classics presented by guest performers have included Swan Lake (sharing full story) Coppelia (sharing full story) and excerpts from Paquita, and other ballets. Maria Dare assisted in choreography and rehearsals for male dancers and partnering. The year following Maria's death, the performance was dedicated to Maria, and a group of her students performed as the Ballet House Masters. One year, a large cast, some good intermediate/advanced students, plus many guest dancers, expanded the show over two consecutive nights. On the first night Swan Lake Act 1 was presented and ended with a variation of Act II (the swans began colliding into each other and all fell down. King Neptune stopped the show and asked everyone to return the next night for the real thing.) On the 2nd night, Swan Lake began with Act II and was correctly performed by quest dancers. Both nights were audience pleasers. Students involved in the 1st nights "failed" presentation of Swan Lake developed a deep understanding of how the classics look easy but are in fact most difficult.
Held at Performing Arts Center, Clatsop Community College, Astoria OR. This was a test of new choreography, new music, and mixing projected videos with live dancing and acting, was a smashing success although it produced over ten pages of notes about needed corrections and revisions. Act 1 Scene 3 was acted out rather than danced. Getting over the hump of coordinating lights, audio, and the visuals had a time consuming solution. Next time it should be a snap! Unlike previous versions, this was a very small cast, the bulk of the dancing performed by beginners with less than 9 months of ballet classes. (It was a test of the Zandance Beginning Ballet Class content as well as show content. I was extremely pleased with the results.) Most of the ballet class year was spent in learning to dance rather than doing a dance. Students were given less than twelve weeks for rehearsals. Sets/props/scenery: The goal was to be able to set up in an hour and tear down in a half hour. We were able to tear down in a half. The set-up goal has yet to be met, but the solutions are now in hand. Only one dance was performed as a ballet classic. It was augmented by video excerpts. The combination of live performance and video was great. Beginning students watch both intently. They got to hear the huffing and puffing of a live performance. The got to see the best of the best as I selected short excerpts of Margot Fonteyn, Rudolph Nureyev, Mikhail Baryshnikov, and Cynthia Gregory. I also selected clips of the corps: many dancers standing and sitting on stage motionless, as well as dancing in groups with precise formations. Having seen these, they now know that Swan Lake is not all white, Don Quite and Coppelia have humor and acting, Romeo and Juliet tells a story. Most of all, they've seen what real ballet looks like.
ACT 1, Scene 1: C Town
Human life on the North Coast. The scene begins Dreamers and Keepers getting the town ready for the opening of the business day. The Keepers are the shopkeepers. The Dreamers are their employees (and our show's stage hands.) The visitors arrive and include Glitzy Tourists with their water bottles, who chew gum, chat on cell phones and toss trash everywhere. Moms, Aunties, and Daughters (where children dance the roles of daughters and adults dance the roles of Moms.) The plot thickens as a Glitzy Tourist notices that a Dreamer has taken interest in her and begins to flirt with him. Additional characters pass through C-Town as the business day progresses - Fishermen, Surfers, Beach-ball bouncers, all adding to the commotion that the Keepers consider normal. The scene ends with the Dreamer Guy taking Glitz Gal to the beach.
ACT 1, Scene 3: Underwater,
Kelp wave to the currents of underwater sea spirts. The ghosts of pirates lurk behind the seaweed. King Neptune arrives with his Court (assisted by Video) on a shipwreck, a Spanish Galleon. His court is filled with dancers from all over the world including Gypsies, Spanish Dancers. A pirate gets a court member to ask King Neptune to show her his treasure and then distract King Neptune, so that the pirate can steal the treasure. King Neptune falls for it and the treasure is stolen. When King Neptune realizes what has happened, he gets angry. His anger generates a huge storm, that threatens to destroy C-Town. A sea critter calms King Neptune down. When King Neptune realizes what he has done, he rushes to the aid of C-Town.
ACT 1, Scene 2:
Tide Pool Critters,
The non-human life on the North Coast. Dreamer Guy and Glitz Gal arrive at the beach at low tide. They hear a seagull, and find a Seagull trapped in trash. Glitz gal frees the seagull vowing never to throw trash on the ground again, and the Gull and Glitz Gal become friends. Tide pool critters dance with seagull. These include crabs, starfish, sea roses (sea anemones). They return to the tide pools for a nap as the Sandpipers arrive and dance. The fisherman arrives. In C-town, he caught a Tutu. At the shore he catches a surfer. The scene ends as the ocean rolls in and the tide pools go underwater.
List of Roles: Seagull, Sandpipers, Crabs, Starfish, Sea Roses, Razor Clam and Digger, Sharkid (with crab on head), Glitz Gal and Dreamer Guy,
ACT 1, Scene 4:
The storm is raging. C-Town is being torn apart. The Dreamers and Keepers protect the visitors as best they can. King Neptune arrives and calms the storm. He realizes that C-Town will be okay when he sees a white flag come out of the rubble. The white flag quickly flips over to reveal the word "open." The Dreamers clean up the storm debris while the visitors run off, shaking their fingers at the Keepers. Meanwhile, King Neptune is very miserable for he has lost his treasure. Seagull, seeing King Neptune, flies off, searches the debris, and finds King Neptune's treasure. When Seagull returns the treasure, King Neptune agrees to share his treasure with everyone. The scene ends as King Neptune is about to open his treasure.
List of Roles: King Neptune Storm Wind and Waves Selected Dreamers, Keepers, Tourists
ACT 2, Scene 1:
Treasure To Share,
King Neptune is joined by selected characters from Act I, Scenes 1 & 2. King Neptune reveals his treasure. It is a book of classical ballet. As he opens the book, selected ballet classics are performed.
ACT 2, Scene 2:
This scene varies depending on the classics presented. Past performances the classics have included excerpts from Swan Lake, Coppelia, and Paquita. 2011 version augmented a live performance from Coppelia with projection of video clips from Don Quixote, Romeo and Juliet, onto the stage.
Roles: King Neptune, Selected C Town and Tide Pool cast, Sharkid (pulled from treasure chest)