FELLOWS RIVERSIDE GARDENS Ballet to present 'Enchanted Evening'

The performance will end with a modern dance called 'Night.'
YOUNGSTOWN -- For anyone who knows Anita Lin, artistic director of Ballet Western Reserve, the troupe's next performance will come as no surprise. Two of her favorite ideals when planning a program are collaboration, and fresh, new creativity. "Enchanted Evening at the Gardens" certainly fulfills both.
On May 6, BWR will present an interpretation of nature through dance on the grounds at Fellows Riverside Gardens in Youngstown's Mill Creek Park.
This elegant black tie event will begin with wine and hors d'oeuvres, donated by area restaurants and catering services, in the D.D. and Velma Davis Education and Visitor Center at 7 p.m. Entertainment will be provided by The Ari Kessler (Jazz) Trio.
Scene setting
At 8 p.m., guests will be ushered into the Daniel L. Rossi Auditorium, where the dancers will perform against a backdrop of lush foliage and shrubbery, provided by Keith Kaiser, horticulture director for the gardens. With natural sunlight still available, the dancers begin with "Dawn," a classical ballet piece. Flowing and falling "Water" will be interpreted through jazz steps, followed by a hip-hop piece depicting "Fire." Tap dancers will imitate the sounds of "Rain," as the evening falls, and "After the Storm" will be performed by Irish step dancers. The performance will end with a modern dance called "Night."
Costumes will represent each element. Local actress Jane Hill will narrate the event, including historical background of the gardens and how each element ties into others.
"We are thrilled to be working with BWR," says Jennifer Kuczek, visitor services manager, who along with Lin, Kaiser, and BWR business manager Lindsay Moyer, have collaborated to create this event.
"This collaboration provides a service to the community," says Lin. They hope to draw ballet patrons who have never viewed the gardens, and garden patrons who have never seen ballet. "Our focus, however, is on Mill Creek Park and nature," Lin adds. "It is a complete departure from Ballet at The Butler."
Dance talk
After the performance, guests will once again be ushered upstairs where they may enjoy coffee, champagne and deserts. "The whole area will be transformed from the cocktail hour," says Lin. "Guests are invited to tour the gardens, and walk on the terrace. The dancers will be available to talk with the guests." A Latin Band will provide music for people to dance and enjoy the rest of the evening. Black tie is admired, but not required.
The proceeds of this event benefit both BWR and the ongoing programs at Fellows Riverside Gardens-Mill Creek MetroParks. "BWR never turns away a student who needs to study dance because of money," says Lin. "Events like this contribute to our scholarship fund."
XThe cost of the event is $50 per person. For reservations, call BWR at (330) 744-1934.

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