The seventh annual Blue Jeans and Ballet will be off the grass and back on stage this year as the event moves from the McArthur Pavilion into the Clayton Center for the Arts.
Appalachian Ballet Company artistic director Amy Moore Morton says the biggest change for this year’s event is moving the production into the Recital Hall at the Clayton Center for the Arts.
“The last three years we’ve been at the pavilion in the grass. It was delightful and wonderful, but they were dancing in grass,” she said. “For the safety of the dancers, I feel glad we’re back on a stage.”
Morton said she is looking forward to moving Blue Jeans and Ballet across the Maryville College campus. “We’ll mix it up with dancing on the plaza with one musical number out there, and then we’ll have the show in the recital hall,” she said.
A staple of the event the past few years has been live music during the production. “Robinella played the first two years and Streamliners provided music last year,” said Morton. “This year we’ll have former Broadway performers Kathy Moore McDougal and her brother, Bruce Moore. Both are charismatic with great voices.”
Morton said she is choreographing routines to 12 Broadway show tunes. The music is from productions where the cast wore blue jeans, such as “Oklahoma” and “Grease,” and carries the theme this year of “Blue Jeans and Ballet Meets Broadway.”
Morton said there will be 16 senior dancers featured along with 10 senior apprentice dancers. “It gives them a splashier finale,” she said.
Before the show, guests will be treated to a barbecue dinner, wine and some entertainment. Tickets are $55 each, which includes the show and the dinner. “We consider this a small fundraiser,” she said. “Folks can get tickets at the Clayton Center or at Van Metre School of Dance.”
Morton said Blue Jeans and Ballet continues to be a popular event in part because of the casual atmosphere. “They can come straight from work, wear their jeans, and just enjoy dinner, drinks and the show,” she said.
Because Blue Jeans and Ballet is on the last Friday of the month, folks can also stroll downtown for the Last Friday Art Walk. “They can leave from the show and go enjoy Art Walk,” she said. “In addition, three galleries at the Clayton Center will be open so we encourage our patrons to come early and enjoy the art work in the galleries as well.”
Tickets are available at the Clayton Center box office, at the ballet studio at 215 West Broadway and at the Blount Today office.