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Anaheim Ballet Wows Hundreds of School Kids
The dancers pose after the show
The spotlight shone on Anaheim Ballet for thousands of elementary school kids on November 10th when they partnered with the Friends of Arts Education to present their new multimedia dance exerience - iDance.
The idea was to bring professional dancers to children so they could experience the wonder of everything from ballet to hip-hop with real stage performances; so different from television!
Evan Rosenberg, son of Director Larry Rosenberg, presented the program with a sparkling combination of video clips of interviews with the dancers, or parts of the rehearsal process, interspersed with those same dancers suddenly leaping and spinning across the stage.
You knew the audience was captivated when the first few jetés drew spontaneous Ooos and Aaahs from the crowd. The Hip Hop also got the same response.
Rosenberg took the audience through a simplified version of the history of ballet, the origin of its seemingly obscure french terminology, and the sheer thrill and exuberance of the fitness level require to be a world-class dancer. And every few moments more styles of live dance and music thrilled the kids.
The hip-hop dancer takes a break
between shows. The audience felt fully involved whether asking questions of the dancers or learning simple hip-hops moves as they sat in their seats. Rosenberg asked for a young volunteer to join him on stage. And as the petite little 12-year Austin old climbed the steps she suddenly kicked off her regular school clothes and became one of the dancers delivering an entrancing, delicate performance in her point shoes.
Organizer Hélène Trudeau afterwards explained that all teacher chaperones are required to come for professional development before bringing the classes to these events, so they can prepare the kids for their theatre experience, and understand how they can best follow up the experience back at school.
The hour long program from Anaheim Ballet was presented twice in collaboration with the Friends of Arts Education at the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts. Under the leadership of Executive Director Hélène Trudeau the FAE is building relationships between schools and professional artists to help stimulate involvement in the arts back in the classroom. Many parents do not realize the extent to which the arts have often been squeezed out of primary school teaching. This is a trend which many communities are now determine to reverse.
Cerritos is clearly well ahead of Anaheim in advocating for the arts with the elementary schools.