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Former NYC Ballet Colleagues Reunite for COPPELIA at Scarsdale Ballet Studio This Weekend

Former NYC Ballet Colleagues Reunite for COPPELIA at Scarsdale Ballet Studio This Weekend

Scarsdale Ballet Studio, Westchester's premier destination for classical and contemporary ballet training presents Coppélia this weekend, March 29 and 30 at the Dance Lab at SUNY Purchase College.

In its 11th season of Concertdance, a conservatory type performance series, 35 students of the Scarsdale Ballet Studio, under the direction of Diana White, have been in the studio for the past five months to stage one of the greatest comic ballets of the 19th century.

Coppélia will be the first full length ballet to be presented since the school opened its doors in 1992. This ballet not only offers great opportunity to aspiring dancers to perform an abundance of solo roles and explore eccentric characterizations and work, but will also grant dancers the opportunity to perform with former New York City Ballet Principal dancer Robert LaFosse as Dr. Coppelius, who will also reprise this same role later this month with New York City Ballet at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center. White and LaFosse, who danced alongside one another for many years at New York City Ballet, coach students to maintain the authenticity of the story while staying true to its history, all while exchanging fond memories of their times as dancers in this same ballet during their own professional performing careers.

Based on a story by E.T Hoffman, this tale presents a budding romance between Swanilda and Frantz, and the mischievous workings of their neighbor Dr. Coppelius. A favorite role of LaFosse's, he will play a mad inventor who has taken to creating life like dolls, one of which becomes the object of Frantz's infatuation. With the original Swanilda cast in 1870 as a young and promising 16 year old ballerina, White and LaFosse have honed in on this innocence and restore its original intent by casting Caroline Rotante and Kellie Allen, both young students of the school, aged 16 and 15.

"Both young women are technically accomplished dancers who also have that 'special something' to carry a three-act ballet in the main role," says White. "Also, they have the professional attitude, commitment, and maturity that made me trust them to work with Mr. La Fosse. It's so wonderful for me to be back in the studio with one of my former partners, and have my own students working with him as if they were professional dancers."

"I know I am growing technically as a dancer and I am learning a great deal about artistry, " remarks Rotante."It has been a great pleasure and honor to dance with Robert La Fosse and I am looking forward to our performance."

Coppélia will be performed on Saturday, March 29th at 6:30pm and Sunday, March 30th at 1:30pm at the Dance Lab at SUNY Purchase, located at 735 Anderson Hill Road in Purchase, New York. Tickets are $25 for adults, $20 for children under the age of 12 and can be purchased in person at the Scarsdale Ballet Studio, located at 696R White Plains Road in Scarsdale or by calling 914-725-8754.

ROBERT LA FOSSE was born in Beaumont, Texas, and received his ballet training at the Marsha Woody Academy of Dance. He continued his studies in New York with David Howard at Harkness House and Stanley Williams at The School of American Ballet. He joined American Ballet Theatre in 1977, where he danced as a Principal Dancer for nine years. In 1986, he was invited by Jerome Robbins to joined New York City Ballet as a Principal Dancer. Throughout his career, he has danced leading roles in many full-length ballets and originated roles in works by Jerome Robbins, Twyla Tharp, Lynne Taylor-Corbett and Peter Martins. In addition to his work in classical ballet, Mr. La Fosse has also starred in Broadway productions of Bob Fosse's DANCIN' and JEROME ROBBINS' BROADWAY, for which he received a Tony Award nomination for Best Actor. Mr. LaFosse is currently on the faculty of the Dance Department at Barnard in New York City.

DIANA WHITE was born in Park Ridge, Illinois and began her ballet training with local instructors when she was four years old. At fourteen, she became a member of the Lyric Opera of Chicago Ballet, then under the direction of Maria Tallchief. There, she was seen by George Balanchine, who awarded her a scholarship to the School of American Ballet. He invited her to join the New York City Ballet one year later. During her twenty-year career at NYCB she worked closely with Balanchine and Jerome Robbins. Her repertoire included principal roles in works by both masters, including Balanchine's Apollo, The Four Temperaments, Western Symphony, Serenade, Liebeslieder Walzer, and Jewels, as well as Robbins' Dances at a Gathering, The Cage, Goldberg Variations, Moves, a ballet in silence which was revived in 1987 especially for her, and many more. The year she was promoted to soloist, Peter Martins created a principal role for her in his ballet The Waltz Project. Ms. White toured internationally with NYCB and as a guest artist with other companies. She has appeared several times on public television's Live From Lincoln Center, and Great Performances.

SCARSDALE BALLET STUDIO is recognized as Westchester's premier destination for classical and contemporary ballet training. Beyond exploring the classical repertoire, the Studio offers its dancers an opportunity unique in Westchester: to learn and perform the choreography of George Balanchine with Artistic Director Diana White, a former soloist of the New York City Ballet who worked directly with Balanchine and Jerome Robbins. Additionally, our students work on an on-going basis with the renowned New York City-based, award-winning choreographers.

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