CEDAR CITY – A prince, a princes,an evil fairy and host of other twirling characters are coming to weave their spell on Southern Utah March 22 and 23 in the Cedar City Junior Ballet’s production of “Sleeping Beauty.”
A cast of over 50 dancers and actors have been practicing for the past six months to perfect this two-hour production based on the original choreography by Marius Petipa and an incredible musical score by Tchaikovsky. Aside from the beautifully crafted costumes and scenery, much of the allure of this ballet performance will come from the talented cast that includes community members ranging in age from kindergarten to college and beyond.
“I have been dancing since I was two years old and I have always loved ballet,” said Alex Wall, a senior dance major at Southern Utah University who will play the lead role, Aurora. “It is a dream come true to be playing such an important role in a well-known ballet. I am very honored and excited to be playing the role of Sleeping Beauty.”
Wall said that the Cedar City Junior Ballet is a wonderful company that offers great opportunities to gain professional dance experience.
“It’s an artistic side I don’t get to experience elsewhere,” said Sterling Young, who plays the Prince. “I like how much they really delve into creating all the acts of the play. It is not just a recital, it is the full art form.”
Wall and Young will be joined on stage by dancers including Lynette Probst, who will play the evil fairy Carabosse, SUU student Josh Hopkins as the Wolf and SUU theater faculty member Richard Bugg as the King.
Cedar City Junior Ballet is now in its 11th season. Each year, dancers, parents and community members come together to bring a full-length ballet to Southern Utah. Despite long hours of challenging rehearsals, sewing costumes and fundraising efforts, artistic director Lise Mills continues to produce these ballets that Young said “get better and better every year” because she has a passion for community and ballet.
“I do this because I love it,” Mills said. “It is a creative outlet and it is a wonderful experience for kids and adults. For our SUU students, it may be the only chance they have to be part of a full-length ballet production.”
And for many dancers and audience members, it also provides a chance to experience the magic of a classic fairy tale.
“I feel like people get a rare experience with the Cedar City Junior Ballet, whether they are dancing in the ballet or watching from the audience,” Young said.
“Sleeping Beauty” will fill the Randall L. Jones Theatre stage on March 22 and 23 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 and available at the Randall L. Jones box office the evening of the performance or by calling 1-800-PLAYTIX.
The Cedar City Junior Ballet is always looking for sponsors to help continue the tradition of ballet in Southern Utah. It is a non-profit organization that relies heavily on grants and private donations. To find out more or to make a donation, call 435-867-4719.
Event details and contact information
Date: March 22 and 23
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: Randall L. Jones Theatre, SUU campus
Admission: $10 per person
Contact: Cedar City Junior Ballet – 435-867-4719
Submitted by: Rachelle Hughes