Jubilee Steps

June 4, 2011, 6:30pm

Hope Garden Children’s Ballet and Artistic Director Fran Ichijo have done it again! Those who regularly attend HGCBT performances have come to expect each performance to outdo the previous work, but the jump in ability and artistry shown June fourth in Jubilee Steps surprised even those with the highest expectations.

Jubilee Steps celebrated all the steps of our life with dance by showing the progression in the training steps of the smallest dancer to the seasoned performer. The evening began with "Dancer Diaries," reflecting the do’s and don’ts of the classroom, and culminated with the glorious White Swan Grand Pas de Deux, the epitome of classical ballet. 

Male dancers stunned the audience with more masculine steps, demonstrating 5 pirouettes at a time as well as huge double saut de basques, done three times in a row. Stunning solos from the classical repertoire in the second act included “La Bayadere Shade” variation, “Odalisque” from Le Corsaire, and the entire “Grand Pas deDeux” of Don Quixote to mention just some of the highlights.

The students of Hope Garden Ballet Academy demonstrated mature skill and poise for their age, and strong technique. The ability of this startling young group was bolstered by the addition of two tremendous dancers from the famed Kirov Academy, as well as performances by professional dancers from Bowen McCauley Dance of Arlington.

The whole evening was not just a celebration set to traditional ballet. Mme. Ichijo continued her commitment to “mixing it up” by enchanting the audience with other forms of dance, as well. Act two began with an exhilarating contemporary piece choreographed by Natalia Pinzon and danced to the music of Michael Jackson’s “The way you make me feel.” Act three opened with a rousing display of the influence of folk dance on ballet, with “Now That’s Character,” demonstrating a distinct traditional Eastern European flair. 

The show closed in grand ballet fashion with a lovely and moving rendition of Kenneth Mcmillan's Romeo and Juliet, performed by Dustin Kimball and Leslie Lamberson of Bowen McCauley Dance. These professional performers showed the audience, as well as the younger members of the troupe, how phenomenally touching dance, performed with grace and soul, can be.


Photos of the performance, taken by noted performance photographer Paolo Galli, are available for review and purchase on Paolo's website.