Ballet company ‘guests’ add surprises to spring show

Appalachian Ballet Company concluded its 2007-2008 season with a spring performance that drew in “guests” and a diversity of dance that had the audience cheering.

Billed as “Appalachian Ballet & Guests,” the performance on March 29 at the Bijou Theatre in Knoxville included dancers from the company’s four levels, Apprentice, Junior, Senior Apprentice and Senior, along with some surprises.

RobinElla returned after a successful show with the group in the Fall to play in a theater box while the dancers performed to pieces choreographed by artistic director Amy Moore Morton. A string trio from the Knoxville Symphony Youth Orchestra added depth to “Quiet Blush,” a dance Morton choreographed and set to a new classical piece by Pat Rasile. Morton also revived her comedic piece, “With Chaplin” and played Charlie Chaplin herself.

A modern work, “Into the Depths,” was also presented. Opening the show was classical ballet as the dancers performed Act II, with Beth Everitt and David Ingram. Everitt danced in the “Nutcracker” with the company in December. Ingram is with the North Carolina Dance Theatre.

To celebrate a successful season that brought numerous accolades, awards and scholarships for the dancers at regional and national conventions, the company and the Appalachian Board of Trust hosted a reception for patrons, donors, friends and invited guests at the Bistro at the Bijou.

Principal dancers and soloists for 2007-2008 were Heather Wilcoxon, Stephanie Swain, Michael Bensey, Megan Bledsoe, Mika Yoshida, Sarah Dickinson and Megan Baker.

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