The LakeCities Ballet in partnership with the Lewisville Lake Symphony knew exactly who they were targeting with their 45-minute whimsical performance of Sergei Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf at the Fredrick P. Herring Recreation Center in Lewisville.
On Sunday afternoon children of all ages gathered on mats placed on the gymnasium floor while parents and other adults sat on folding chairs and bleaches. The stage was actually the gym floor covered in marley and the symphony consisting of brass, woodwinds, strings and percussion was situated just to the right where the wings would normally be. Props included a well-made 3-D image of Peter's house, the duck's pond and a tall tree the characters could easily climb in and out of.
The LakeCities Ballet and the Lewisville Lake Symphony's mix of classical and tongue-in-cheek music and movement more than compensated for the simple setting. As Narrator, Chip Waggoner from FOX 4 News added his own quirky yet totally appropriate touches to the show. He told the tale of young Peter (Jeanette Lipton), his friends the Bird (Kendall Galey), Duck (Sophie Van Den Handel) and Cat (Logan Lockhart) and their encounter with the menacing Wolf (Ruben Gerding).
To make the show more accessible to younger viewers, each character had its own voice represented by different instruments. Peter's youth could be heard in the light notes of the strings while the Wolf's brash attitude was well suited for a trio of horns. LCB Artistic Director Kelly Lannin's choreography was also cognizant of each character's individual quirks. Galey's soft fluttering arm movements and quick chaine and pique turns gave her the illusion of flying.
Van Den Handel waddled gracefully on pointe and Lockhart executed bourrees with slow feline determination. While the dancers' movements weren't particularly challenging, their pointe work was clean, musicality effortless and acting skills dynamic.
◊ Katie Dravenstott is a freelance writer and dance teacher in Dallas. Visit her blog at www.kddance.wordpress.com.