OURAY – Just two months after Weehawken Dance presented a cast of more than 100 in The Nutcracker at the Wright Opera House, a pared-down ensemble of dedicated ballet dancers return to that stage to perform La Boutique on Saturday, Feb. 5 at 7 p.m.
Choreographed and set by Weehawken Dance artistic director Natasha Pyeatte, the two-act ballet tells the story of dancing dolls from around the world that come to life in a dollmaker’s shop.
One night the dolls learn that their friends, the Prince (Patrick Link, 15) and Princess (Sydnee Kimmel, 15) dolls, are going to be sold to two separate purchasers and separated forever, so they decide to intervene by running the would-be buyers out of town.
Marking Pyeatte’s directorial debut when she choreographed and set the show in Montrose eight years ago while a student at Mesa State College, the ballet is inspired by Leonide Massine’s La Boutique Fantasque debuted by Russian ballet impresario Serge Diaghilev’s Ballet Russes at London’s Alhambra Theatre in 1919.
“It’s a really old ballet and it’s almost never done anymore,” said Pyeatte, describing the original.
In Pyeatte’s version, 28 dancers ages five through adult assume the various roles in the hour-long ballet (there will be a ten-minute intermission) including the meatier parts of Dollmaker (Morgan Wright, 13) the naughty French Doll (Alyssa Ludian, 10) and the Fairy Queen (Morning Song Bed and Breakfast owner Faith Parry).
The cast was selected from among students who dedicated the month of January (between Weehawken Dance semesters) to classes and rehearsals three to five times a week during the school’s four-week ballet intensive.
“It’s fast for them to put together a show this quickly,” said Pyeatte. “They’ve done a good job.”
Pyeatte and her partner, guest artist and instructor Kevin Gallacher of Santa Fe, will perform as Tango dolls in Act I, while the audience should keep an eye out for the goings on between the maids and the dolls they inadvertently tickle with their feather dusters in Act II.
“It’s been a really fun month getting to work with a smaller group of dancers,” said Pyeatte. “It has been fun as a teacher to see them grow over the course of the month.”
Weehawken Dance presents La Boutique at the Wright Opera House on Saturday, Feb. 5 at 7 p.m. Tickets, $5 for children and seniors, $10 for adults, will be available at the door, which opens for seating at 6:30 p.m. For more information, call Weehawken Creative Arts at 970/318.0150 or visit www.weehawkenarts.org.