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Summer Intensive Peaks in Pearson Park

By Michael Buss, 2013-08-14

The summer months are always especially busy for the Anaheim Ballet. The Summer Intensive program brings together students aged 9-20 from the United States and around the world to develop their skills alongside local dancers. In the space of an incredible four weeks , students are exposed to various dance forms and styles, and have been willing to enhance their training with such courses as acting, voice and sports psychology. The dancers spend their summer growing, learning , and enjoying the company of like-minded focused young people, and succeeding at furthering their education. (Left, Larry Rosenberg introduces the show.)

It takes a huge team of Faculty and Guest Instructors to bring the four weeks to a successful conclusion – always a free public performance at the Pearson Park Amphitheatre. Naturally the whole process comes under the oversight and tuition of Larry and Sarma Rosenberg. There is no question that the line-up of guest instructors was impressive, but we do not have room to list them here.

The public performance was both captivating and charming. The Pharaoh’s Daughter, originally choreographed by Marius Petipa, and now staged by Sarma Rosenberg, took the first half of the show. An English archeologist finds the ancient Egyptian tomb of Pharaoh’s daughter, Aspicia, who comes to life and whisks the archeologist back in time to become Taor. She is under obligation to marry a Nubian king but falling in love with Taor runs away with him. Many adventures ensue and of course there is a happy ending.

It was hard to credit that these dancers learnt this entire ballet within four weeks, plus all the many numbers we saw in the second part of the show as the sun set and the stage lights came on.

Taor and Aspicia were played by Stephen Jacobsen* and Anna Weichmann*(scenes 1-4) - pictured left - and Madison Morris* (scenes 5-7). Pharaoh was danced by John Ajayi*. Little Annabelle Gunderson, above right, (Ramze) is clearly the new up and coming star. Her dancing is spirited and incredibly mature for such a young girl. The girls with the bows were the members of the royal hunt and numbered about 25 on stage. The older girls played the Rivers of the World with their longer tutus and red scarves.

Cast members indicated with an asterisk are members of the Anaheim Ballet company.


Photos: M C Buss



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