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Local Dancers Perform In Snow White Ballet

FRESNO – Two mountain area dancers will take the stage as the Valley Performing Arts Council (VPAC) presents the ballet “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 28, at the William Saroyan Theatre in Fresno.

Alice Medrano from Coarsegold, and Tara Neill from Oakhurst, both 16, will dance multiple roles in the ballet, which will also be presented during special school outreach performances.

The performance features professional dancers from The State Street Ballet of Santa Barbara and Fresno Ballet Theatre, as well as nearly 40 student dancers from the Valley and Mountain Area.

The ballet tells the story of one of the most enchanting fables by Brothers Grimm which details young love, good triumphing over evil and the magic of a kiss. The both athletic and amusing performance was choreographed by State Street’s Ballet Master Marina Fliagina.

VPAC Artistic Director Yukari Thiesen has cultivated a relationship with State Street Ballet for annual spring performances, and with the Sacramento Ballet for the annual “Nutcracker,” in order to bring professional classical ballet productions to Fresno on a consistent basis. The relationships also allow Thiesen to showcase area student dancers alongside professionals – an experience that can be life-changing for young dancers.

VPAC Snow White“Ballet students in this area have very little idea what a professional ballet company is like, as audience members or as seen from backstage,” Thiesen said. “The best education we can give them is to work with the professional dancers and artistic staff in their productions. Additionally, the high quality of the dancing and amazing theatrical aspects brings ballet to a new audience base in Fresno.”

In addition to the Feb. 28 evening performance, area students can attend “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” on Feb. 27, at 9:30 a.m. or 10:50 a.m. at the William Saroyan Theatre as part of VPAC’s school outreach performances.

Tickets for these performances are just $5 per student. Participating schools can take advantage of a study guide that meets state curriculum standards. The guide is available at www.valleyperformingartscouncil.org.

Tickets are $29.50 to $59.50 for adults. Tickets for children 12 and under are $21.50 through February 18. After that date, children’s tickets are $29.50. Special pricing is available for groups of 15 or more. Tickets can be purchased online at FresnoGrandOpera.org, by phone at 559-442-5699 or in-person at the Fresno Convention Center box office.

THE STORY OF SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS

A beautiful girl, Snow White, takes refuge in the forest in the house of seven dwarfs to hide from her stepmother, the wicked Queen. The Queen is jealous because she wants to be known as “the fairest in the land,” and Snow White’s beauty surpasses her own. The dwarfs grow to love their unexpected visitor, who cleans their house and cooks their meals.

But one day while the dwarfs are at their diamond mine, the Queen arrives at the cottage disguised as an old peddler woman and persuades Snow White to bite into a poisoned apple. The dwarfs, warned by the forest animals, rush home to chase the witch away, but they are too late to save Snow White from the poisoned apple. They place her in a glass coffin in the woods and mourn for her.

The Prince, who has fallen in love with Snow White, happens by and awakens her from the wicked Queen’s deathlike spell with “love’s first kiss.” From the beautiful, kind-hearted Snow White to the seven wacky dwarfs, the production turns a classic story into a heart-warming visual treat for the whole family.

Valley Performing Arts Council (VPAC) provides Central San Joaquin Valley grade school students with the opportunity to experience the classical performing arts, and to appreciate the beauty, wisdom and truth the classical arts impart to society.

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