IRONTON- The Ashland Youth Ballet (AYB), presents “Music in Motion” for the Ironton Council for the Arts at the Ironton High School Auditorium on Sunday April 2, 2023, at 3:00 p.m. This will be the final concert of the council’s 2022-23 subscription concert series. Tickets are $15 and are available at the performance. The performance is free for students and Ironton High School is handicap accessible.
The Ashland Youth Ballet (AYB) is a non-profit civic organization that serves the tri-state by maintaining and preserving the technical and artistic elements of dance training and performance. They are the resident company of the historic Paramount Arts Center in the Ashland Arts district. The AYB’s mission is and has always been to engender the art of dance and dance education in the tri-state. They have accomplished this by sending nearly two dozen alumni on to careers in professional dance, including performing with the Rockettes, “Wicked” and on Broadway. (https://ashlandyouthballet.org/)
Selections for the afternoon dance concert include works from the AYB repertoire and a variety of classical variations from the dance world’s most beloved ballets. A few contemporary works round out the program.
The ballet, Pas de Quatre, the longest of the pieces is one of the ballet world’s most historical and revered pieces. Set on the AYB in 1994, the company performs the piece every 2 – 3 years as a teaching tool for dancers and audiences alike. The dancers portray the 4 great ballerinas of the 1840’s shortly after ballet dancers rose to point. Their dances and their mannerisms portray the “behind the scenes” attitudes of the dancers which lends a bit of light-hearted humor to the piece.
The show opens with a lively polonaise and mazurka from the ballet Paquita. The works of Josef Frederick Haydn provide inspiration for two other works from his renowned Symphony #88 with Ludwig Minkus’ lively melodies giving the younger members of the company their inspiration to bring movement to the stage. Classical variations include Dance of the Little Swans (Swan Lake), Aurora’s Wedding Variation from The Sleeping Beauty, Esmerelda, Odalisque, La Fille Mal Gardee, Graduation Ball, La Bayadere, and several more. Contemporary works include Merry-Go-Round, Footprints in the Sand, and After the Storm (tribute to the Kentucky flood victims of 2022). (Commentary provided by Mrs. Maria Whaley, AYB Artistic Director).