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Spring Celebration Ballet coming to Musical Arts Center this weekend


Dancers hit their final pose March 19 inside the Musical Arts Center during the dress rehearsal for “Spring Celebration.” Ballet department co-chair Sarah Wroth said each day’s performance is different and special. Sarah Zygmuntowski

A soft violin and flute duet begins as the purple curtain lifts, revealing four male dancers jumping onto the stage. Their feet barely leave the ground. As they dance, a couple joins them, swaying and striding across the stage with the girl’s white skirt flowing around her.

This is one of the scenes from the upcoming “Spring Celebration Ballet.” The ballet opens at 7:30 p.m. March 22 at the Musical Arts Center, with two more performances at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. March 23.

The performance consists of four ballets, “Walpurgisnacht” by George Balanchine, the premiere of “Perpetuality” by Nicole Haskins and “Spring” and “The Concert” by Jerome Robbins.

Sophomore Andrew Rossi, who is the male principal dancer in “Spring” said all the pieces are upbeat and fun.

“It’s very lively, and the music has a lot of flute and higher instruments so it feels like something new and something rebirthing,” Rossi said. “There’s a lot of jumps like little frogs, and we’re just having fun like springtime.”

Sarah Wroth, co-chair of the ballet department and associate professor at Jacobs, said the ballet pays homage to ballet professor Kyra Nichols. Jerome Robbins originally choreographed Nichols for “Spring” when she danced at the New York City Ballet.

“For this program, our students are dancing works that were created on her, works that she danced for numerous decades for New York City ballet and also works that are by choreographers that she takes a lot of inspiration from,” Wroth said.

IU's ballet department rehearses for the upcoming production "Spring Celebration." Dancer Andrew Rossi and department co-chair Sarah Wroth speak about the production.

Due to Nichols’ initial involvement, Wroth said the students are learning the original choreography to “Spring.”

“She staged it on our students, and our students here at the Jacobs School of Music are some of the only ones to perform this choreography in its original state as it was originally intended,” Wroth said.

Rossi said he learned a lot by working with Nichols and the other choreographers, and they helped bring the original choreography to the stage.

“You can’t take it too seriously, especially in “Spring,” you have to be able to have fun and just go out and dance,” Rossi said. “You can’t think too much about the steps, because if you do, then it’ll become mechanical but you have to just go out, have fun and be yourself.”

Wroth said the choreography, as well as the nature of the ballets themselves, contribute to the theme of a spring celebration.

“The dancers put in the soil, they put in the light, they put in the rain and they try to create the right atmosphere for success,” Wroth said. “Whatever happens, whatever busts forth on stage is what is created.”

Student tickets for the ballet start at $10, adults start at $15.

Two dancers perform March 19 inside the Musical Arts Center during the dress rehearsal for Spring Celebration. Sarah Zygmuntowski

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