May 8, 2014 | By Christine Cole, Correspondent
LEESBURG — Students in the upper Classical Ballet Division, from the Mount Dora School of Ballet enjoy performing in “Paquita” because they get to wear beautiful tutus.
Owner and teacher Kathryn Wheeler said performing the “Grand pas classique” from the wedding scene of the ballet is both hard work and inspiring for the students.
“The music is exciting and has a Spanish flair, so they can use gestures like a flick of an arm,” she said. “The Vaganova School in Russia uses it as a graduation piece because it’s such a beautiful classical piece.”
Wheeler said she uses “Paquita” as a teaching tool because it is very refined technically and demonstrates captivating artistry.
“All the lines must be perfect,” she said. “They must look exactly alike.”
Elizabeth Powers, 16, will create the role of Paquita. Graduating senior Alexandra Campione, 18, also will be featured. Ryan Nussear will appear, courtesy of the Columbia (S.C.) Classical Ballet.
Along with Paquita, dancers from 4 to 18 years old, will perform The Little Mermaid” at 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Lake-Sumter State College.
Carolyn Bakich, 15, will create the role of “The Little Mermaid,” in which the sea-denizen falls in love with a land-bound prince, Luis Gonzalez, courtesy of the Orlando Ballet.
“We will do a pas de deux, which is sudden,” Carolyn said. “It may be a shock to the audience, but it’s very exciting for me.”
Campione also will be featured as Ursula with Elizabeth Powers and Conner Jenkins as the serpents.
David Coalter, of Coalter Digital, will create scenes, such as the sky and the prince’s ship, using projections.
Young dancers perform as seagulls, fish, mermaids, and the deep blue sea. In all, 140 dancers will perform.
“Yes, we’ve grown,” Wheeler said. “We will now offer three summer workshops, divided by ages, starting July 7.”
Tickets are $20 and will be sold at the door of the Paul P. Williams Auditorium at LSSC, 9501 U.S. Highway 441.
The Mount Dora School of Ballet is located at 4280 N. County Road 19A, Suite 4, Mount Dora.
For more information, call 352-357-5536.