Centenary Stage Company to Present New Jersey Civic Youth Ballet in Three Fairy Tales, 9/14

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The Centenary Stage Company will host the NJ Civic Youth Ballet's performances of three classic fairy tales, on Sunday, Sept 14 at 2 PM and 4 PM in the Little Theatre on the campus of Centenary College in Hackettstown.

The Tales of Beatrix Potter, Hansel and Gretel, and Carnival of the Animals promise to capture the hearts of everyone age 3 to 103, says NJCYB Artistic Director Chris Taylor. Based on the timeless stories and music of Beatrix Potter, Brothers Grimm, and Camille Saint-Saens, in this production the theater transforms into a world that is sometimes forgotten, with those great works of art that survived the test of time, but are often placed on a shelf.

As the curtain opens the audience experiences the world of Hansel and Gretel, and realizes that their trials and triumphs are in many ways no different than thos of the contemporary world. The ballet is narrated, and as the story is told from Gretel's perspective, the audience begins to understand what survival means to a young girl.

During Carnival of the Animals, every child's dream comes true. All of the stuffed toys have come to life in this delightful tale. A young girl believes her dearest toy, a Lion, has awakened her in the middle of the night. They enjoy the antics of Penguins, Fish, Turtles, Elephants, a Cuckoo Bird, and a Kangaroo who has lost her baby. When dawn threatens, the Lion explains that it's time to go to sleep, and bids her good-night.... until next time.

A newly created ballet by choreographers Elisabeth Holowchuk and Dorothy Wasserman , The Tales of Beatrix Potter, with music by John Lanchbery, was made possible by a grant from the Warren County Cultural and Heritage Commission. Originally performed by the Royal Ballet, this abridged performance begins with Peter Rabbit and his friends who find themselves in a bit of trouble with farmer McGregor. As the bunnies scatter, the audience is entertained by Jemima Puddle Duck and her encounter with a sly fox. A struggle for the duck's basket of eggs occurs, but soon it is clear that the sly fox is no match for a mama duck. Jemima Puddle Duck is performed by Michelle Quiner , with Vitaly Verterich as the fox. Quiner, a member of the New Jersey Civic Youth Ballet, has also performed at the Grand Ole Oprey with Radio City Music Hall's Christmas Spectacular. Michelle, a featured dancer in Dance Spirit magazine, has received a Gold Medal in regionals for Youth America Grand Prix in Torrington, Ct., and was recently a finalist in the World Ballet Competition, Orlando, Fl. Vitaly Verterich was a principal dancer in "Riverdance on Broadway" at the Gershwin Theater. A frequent guest artist at the Bolshoi Theater, the Kirov Ballet, and other internationally and nationally acclaimed companies, Verterich has performed with the NJCYB for the past season.

Matinee Performances of NJCYB Fairey Tales will be held at the Little Theater, Centenary College, Hackettstown, on Sunday, September 14th at 2:00 and 4:00 PM. General admission is $10.00. For tickets, call 908-850-0709. For more information, visit www.centenarystageco.org.

Photo Courtesy of Dorothy Wasserman - Pictured: Michelle Quiner and Vitaly Verterich.

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