INCLUDES VIDEO See students, many of whom live in East Portland, perform in this unique setting…
Between performances, the cast of Alice in Wonderland poses backstage for a photo, during the Academy of Classical Ballet’s “Outdoor Performance Series”.
History and photos of David F. Ashton
A most unique ballet performance was performed in the Eastmoreland district on Saturday afternoon June 12, along SE Reed College Place – as the Classical Ballet Academy (CBA) welcomed the public to its “series of performances outdoors” for one day only, free of charge.
Eight stages have been set up in the broad grassy median strip of this boulevard to present scenes from eight famous classical ballets: Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, Alice in Wonderland, Don Quixote, Coppélia, The Firebird, Cinderella, and White as snow.
To music, the dancers perform an excerpt from Alice in Wonderland.
“Our students, all 250 in number, aged 3 to 18, have been isolated at home and have done everything online – including university school and teaching dance,” explained the director of ABC, Sarah Rigles.
“Last December we really wanted to do something ‘in person’ and came up with what we called ‘Nutcracker Vignettes’ which we set up in the same area. Now in June with support from Eastmoreland Neighborhood Association, we were also able to put on more shows here along Reed College Place,” Rigles said. East Portland News.
As the dancers perform a segment of swan Lake ballet, an audience gathers to watch the free show in this unique outdoor setting.
“Our students, many of whom hailed from the outer neighborhoods of East Portland, were so excited to perform in front of a live audience again!” Rigles continued. “I believe we have succeeded in our mission to bring the community together and bring hope – both to our dancers and to the community as a whole.”
Due to the fact that the stages were spread over two city blocks, an audience estimate was difficult to make, Rigles noted. “Our volunteers say they believe around 1,000 people have seen at least some of the programs on our eight stages, featuring 12 different classic stages and two different contemporary stages.”
Taking a break between their performances, the dancers of Don Quixote.
“We thank our key volunteers: Lindsay Lichtenwalter, JoAnne Cheechov, Kris Marcus, Matt Marcus, Tracie Erlandson, Sissy Dawson, Jason Davis, Ralph Welker, Mark Molchan and Kayla Scrivner,” Rigles acknowledged. “And we are also very grateful to the neighbors in Eastmoreland who were so accommodating and kind to allow us to host this event, almost in their front yard!”
Learn more about the Classical Ballet Academy
by visiting their website: CLICK HERE.
Seen from “backstage”, spectators in the street appreciate the ballet dancers interpreting a scene from Coppelia.
© 2021 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™