Beth Fowler Dance Company 25th Anniversary “Cinderella”

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The Beth Fowler Dance Company is celebrating its 25th Anniversary with special performances of “Cinderella!”

The community, current and alumni dancers are invited to the celebration, to marvel at this beautiful production and join our party receptions in the front lobby after each performance, complete with photo displays featuring current and past company members and performances. We look forward to reuniting with our entire BFDC extended family.

Becky Baert, of Genoa, will portray Cinderalla. She feels as if a long-term dream has come true.

Baert and her fellow dancers of the Dance Company, now in its 25th year, and the Beth Fowler School of Dance, which is celebrating 35 years, will again whisk visitors into the magic and splendor of a timeless tale.

“Cinderella has been my No. 1 favorite princess forever,” said Baert. “I’ve dreamed of dancing this role ever since I danced as a little mouse on stage with Cinderella 10 years ago [in a previous rendition of ‘Cinderella’ staged by the Beth Fowler Dance Company]. “And now to get to do it, is so special.”

Performances will be at 7 p.m. Friday, March 15; 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday, March 16; and 2 p.m. Sunday, March 17. All performances will be staged at the historic Egyptian Theatre, 135 N. Second St., in DeKalb.

The ballet tells through dance the age-old story of the mistreated stepdaughter and housemaid, who becomes a princess, thanks to the magical intervention of her Fairy Godmother.

In the ballet, Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother calls upon the fairies of the four seasons to assist with the magical makeover and present Cinderella with gifts to prepare her for the ball. The addition of Cinderella’s mouse friends, played by students in the Beth Fowler School of Dance, grants the production a Disney-like touch.

The production soars with magic and beauty, thanks to the classical score by Sergei Prokofiev, and stunning costumes and scenery, including a magnificent pumpkin carriage.
“This is a wonderful production, and one of my personal favorites,” said Beth Fowler, artistic director and owner of the Beth Fowler School of Dance. “It’s a story that is easy to follow. Everyone knows it.”

And the performances will also be filled with mirth and humor, thanks in no small part to the on-stage performances of Cinderella’s stepsisters. Those roles will be played by Abby Lewis of St. Charles and Tallory Wendell of Belvidere.

“It’s seriously funny,” Fowler said.

Jacob Bliujus of Sycamore will dance the role of Prince Charming. In his third year dancing with the Beth Fowler Dance Company, Bliujus, 15, said he is beyond thrilled and honored to take on the challenging role, which he compared to the role of the Cavalier who accompanies the Sugar Plum Fairy in “The Nutcracker.”

In prior productions, the role has been danced by professional dancers, including most recently by a soloist who had danced with the Cleveland Ballet and the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago.

Fowler said she is delighted to have a dancer within the Company ready to step forward and become Prince Charming.

“I’m so looking forward to this,” said Bliujus. “It’s a big step for me, as a dancer and a performer, and I’m super excited to take this on.”

Bliujus has previously danced various roles in the Beth Fowler Dance Company’s production of “The Nutcracker,” and as Aladdin in the Company’s own “Storybook Ballet.”

In addition to learning the technically-challenging solos, pas de deux and corps dances, Bliujus and Baert said they have dedicated themselves to learning the characters, inside and out. Baert, for instance, said she has re-watched the classic Disney animated feature film version of the tale, and has also viewed professional performances of the ballet to note how prominent dancers have portrayed Cinderella.

Baert, 17, has danced with BFSD since she was 4 years old, progressing through the program in the 13 years since. She has portrayed Clara in “The Nutcracker” and the Little Mermaid, Ariel, in “The Storybook Ballet.”

But she says the role of Cinderella will be her most challenging yet.

Other featured Company dancers include Kaitlynn Rollo of South Elgin, as Cinderella’s stepmother; Jennifer Flatland of Hampshire, as the Fairy Godmother; Taryn Sarto of Genoa, as the Spring Fairy; Emily Fox of West Chicago, as the Summer Fairy; Olivia Brown of West Chicago, as the Autumn Fairy; and Hannah Fugiel of Elgin, as the Winter Fairy. Brooke Baurer of Geneva will dance as the Court Jester. Mia Herman of St. Charles and Anne Fritsch of St. Charles will dance as the Midnight Fairy, and Clara Coran of DeKalb and Brooke Bend of St. Charles, will each portray the Gift Bearer Fairy.

Other members of the large, local cast include Company dancers in various roles and students from the Beth Fowler School of Dance in children’s roles.

Baert invited the community to soak in the magic of “Cinderella.”

“This is a special ballet,” she said. “We love to dance, and we love to share that with everyone.”

Tickets are available online at www.BethFowlerDanceCompany.com, by phone through the Egyptian Theatre box office at (815) 758-1225 or at the door one hour before performances.

Tickets are $21 for adults and $15 for children ages 4-12. Children 3 and under are free. All tickets are reserved seating. Every child’s ticket includes an invitation to meet Cinderella onstage after the show, where photos may be taken in the pumpkin coach.

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