Mailing Address: PO Box 201, Pittsford NY 14534
by Glenn McCarty
A review of Peter Pan from the NYS Ballet, performing April 25 & 26, 2015 at Webster Schroeder High School, Webster, NY
A ballet with sword fights? How about flying? Yes, indeed, New York State Ballet’s production of the children’s classic Peter Pan has something for kids of all ages, but most of all to the little boys and girls who make up the target audience. As a relative newcomer to the Rochester arts scene, the New York State Ballet values making its performances accessible to “non-ballet” folks, and in this regard, this production is a huge hit. Its performance took J.M. Barrie’s timeless tale of the “boy who wouldn’t grow up” and, using original choreography set to traditional pieces of classical music, brought the story to life afresh. Pixie dust flew, pirates strutted, and a crocodile even slithered (scooted, perhaps?) around the stage.
The production also benefited from a talented, enthusiastic cast who approached the performance with the right amount of whimsy and enthusiasm. Lead Tomahito Mori brought a big smile and effortless flying to his role as Pan, and Andee Neuscheler’s Tinkerbell was equal parts mischievous and meddling. Performances from James Walters as Captain Hook and Kate Kostelnik as Wendy were also strong, and the cast benefited from child dancers in a variety of supporting roles, including as stars in the night sky on the way to Neverland, fairies, and mermaids, as well as the Amadeus Chorale, who added live vocals to complement the orchestral soundtrack.
If magic and wonder were the order of the day, NYSB’s Peter Pan is a rousing success, using much more than just pixie dust to lift its audience out of its seats.
Glenn McCarty is a writer and father of two in Rochester, NY.
ROCHESTER, NY (WROC-TV)
The New York State Ballet will present "The Nutcracker" at the Kodak Center December 9-11.
Artistic Director Katie Johnson and Kayleigh Danowski, who will dance the Sugar Plum Fairy, discussed the production Monday on News 8 at Noon.
"We're excited to be there," said Johnson of the Kodak Center. "We're adding many new layers, we have a professional orchestra this year, the Cordancia Orchestra. Many Rochesterians are in that orchestra and they're all professional and the New York State Ballet is delighted. We've expanded our company a lot with our professional dancers. We have over eleven paid professional dancers as full time members of the New York State Ballet."
Danowski is thrilled to be dancing the Sugar Plum Fairy. "Well, 'The Nutcracker' is such a magical experience and it wouldn't be Christmas without it," she said. "To get to play the Sugar Plum Fairy, to dance that role is something every young girl wants to do so it really is a delight for me."
Johnson added, "Every year I'm so excited to do 'The Nutcracker' and each year we restore our 'Nutcracker' and we bring new elements. This year we have lots of new parts and new costumes so the audience is in for absolute magic, so we're excited."
The show Friday, December 9 begins at 7:00 p.m.
The shows Saturday, December 10 begin at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.
The show Sunday, December 11 begins at 2:00 p.m.
The Kodak Center for Performing Arts is located at 200 West Ridge Road in Rochester. Tickets start at $10 for children and $15 for adults. To order tickets and for more information call (585) 254-0073.