If you'd like to see a traditional ballet in the near future, you could drive to Buffalo, Cleveland or New York City. Or, you could walk to the Reg Lenna Civic Center on Saturday to see the Chautauqua Regional Youth Ballet Spring Gala.
"In this area, we're really the only program that teaches and performs classical ballet," said Elizabeth Bush, executive director for CRYB. "It's a really good opportunity for people in the area to experience that art form without having to drive (to a large city)."
The gala will feature all the students of the youth ballet. The beginning ballet division, which includes pre-ballet through level 2, will perform a ballet suite to Saint-Saens' "Carnival of the Animals." The first half will also feature CRYB's intermediate level students dancing to Verdi's "Spring" and a modern piece choreographed for CRYB advanced students by Michael Cerwinski.
Chautauqua Regional Youth Ballet dancers will perform their annual Spring Gala on Saturday at the Reg Lenna Civic Center. The show will begin at 7:30 p.m. Visit cryb.net for more information.
"Our dancers start at age 4," said Bush. "Ages four through 10 are considered level 1 and 2 and dancers ages 10 through 14 are intermediate dancers. In act two, we'll feature some solos involving our advanced dancers - a scene from the Tchaikovsky ballet 'Sleeping Beauty.'"
The fairy and aurora solos in Act 2 will be performed by dancers: Katie Baudo, Isabel Bursch, Madi Cala, Lydia Everett, Kaitlin Healy, Madeline Jones, Rebecca Josephson, Molly Marsh, Gina Smeragliuolo and Kortney Young.
In addition to the dancers of CRYB, the organization has invited soprano Marie Karabacka to perform an aria by Rossini as a prelude to "Sleeping Beauty." Karabacka is a former CRYB graduate and recently received her Bachelor of Music in Voice from Mercyhurst College. Some might remember her from her many performances in Jamestown High School's annual musicals.
"(Karabacka's) mother has been associated with the ballet for a long time, as has the whole family," said Bush. "(Artistic director Monika Alch) and I went to Marie's senior recital and thought to ourselves, 'This would be really nice to have in our program, especially since she graduated from here.'"
For those who are interested, the price of admission is $12 for adults, $10 for students and seniors, $6 for children under 6 and $20 for reserve loge seating. There is also a three course dinner and reserved seating package available through a partnership with the Town Club. Those interested in the latter option can contact the youth ballet at 664-9766.
For those who are on the fence or have never been to a ballet before, Saturday's performance offers a close to home yet professional experience to test out the waters.
"We try to include something for everyone," said Bush. "We try to make it appeal to young children maybe husbands or siblings that got dragged along. For instance, there's Sleeping Beauty, which the kids love and the costumes will be beautiful then there's the modern piece. We try to keep the show a good length as well. A lot of people are really surprised the first time they see a ballet because they've never considered the difficulty and level of training necessary to perform in a ballet. Even people who have never seen a show before tend to really enjoy it."
Saturday's show will begin at 7:30 p.m. For more information on the program, visit www.cryb.net.