On Friday, March 20 at 8 p.m.; Saturday, March 21 at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m.; and Sunday, March 22 at 3 p.m. in the Mead Theater of the Schuster Center, Dayton Ballet, in collaboration with the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, will present Peter Pan, the fourth and final ballet of the 2014-2015 New Horizons Season. This unique presentation with live orchestra is also the fifth performance in the Kettering Health Network SuperPops Series. The Signature Sponsor for this production is The Miriam Rosenthal Foundation for the Arts, and the Performance Sponsor is Premier Health. Supporting Sponsors are Enterprise Roofing and Quantech Services, Inc. The DPAA Innovation Partner is the DP&L Foundation – Powering Innovation in the Performing Arts.
Dayton Ballet’s Peter Pan will feature original choreography by Septime Webre, Artistic Director of The Washington Ballet, under the guidance of Dayton Ballet Artistic Director Karen Russo Burke. For this production of Peter Pan, Dayton Ballet joins forces with Artistic Director and Conductor Neal Gittleman and the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra to present the enchanting score by Carmon DeLeone. Johanna Bernstein Wilt will be setting this ballet, having previously helped set it in several productions with ballet companies around the country. Dayton Ballet’s Sharon Neumeister will be the Rehearsal Assistant on this production.
The timeless story of Peter Pan extols the virtues of eternal youth, of keeping our childlike wonder, and of not taking the real world too seriously. The story of Peter Pan was written by J.M. Barrie over 100 years ago and has been retold over the years in various formats, from books to movies, from cartoons to musical theatre. Just this past December the story was retold by NBC as a special live television production of the 1954 musical adaptation of Peter Pan.
Although the story itself has been around for over a century, the ballet version of this classic tale is relatively new. In 2000, renowned choreographer Septime Webre was commissioned to create a new ballet version of Peter Pan. Webre set out to design the ballet with two goals in mind. “One was to create a very ‘dancy’ production that would really challenge the dancers and their technique, and the other to connect to audiences of all ages,” said Webre. (www.pghcitypaper.com)
Septime Webre has indeed accomplished these goals in his story ballet version of Peter Pan. The ballet includes many notable moments set to thrill audience members of any age. The flying scenes for Peter, Wendy, John and Michael are magical and breath-taking. There are spectacular solos for Peter and Wendy that are completely captivating, a high-energy opening dance for the Lost Boys, boisterous and bawdy scenes for the Pirates and Wenches, complete with real sword fighting, and a fantastic solo dance by the Crocodile. This ballet is fun-filled and clever, rich with humor and including witty nods to classic ballets the audience will surely recognize.
“Peter Pan is a highly demanding story ballet that insists on larger-than-life character portrayals,” says Artistic Director Karen Russo Burke. “The ballet is extremely well-crafted by Septime. While the dancing is strenuous and intense, the ballet is hysterical and so much fun to perform!”
“Carmon DeLeone’s score for Peter Pan is brilliant, colorful, tuneful music,” adds DPO Artistic Director and Conductor Neal Gittleman. “You’ll hear a little Prokofiev, a little Bach, a little John Williams, and a lot of wonderful original music, too. There are a lot of notes, but it will also be a lot of fun to play!”
The lively and dynamic dancing from all 19 dancers of Dayton Ballet and from dancers of Dayton Ballet II senior and junior companies, combined with the enchanting score played to perfection by Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, will make for a wonderful night of entertainment in the Schuster Center.
Tickets for Peter Pan range from $23 to $78 and are available at Ticket Center Stage (937) 228-3630 or online at www.daytonperformingarts.org. Senior, teacher, student, and military discounts are available at the box office. For more information on this production or on other upcoming performances by Dayton Philharmonic, Dayton Opera and Dayton Ballet, visit www.daytonperformingarts.org.