comments

Ballet Folsom presents 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland'

Folsom Lake Entertainer
By: Laura Newell, Features Editor
-A +A

For audience members young and old – one ballet will take your imagination to curious places.

Ballet Folsom Artistic Director and Choreographer Deirdre Hawkins will present an original ballet performance of “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” for two nights at the Jill Solberg Performing Arts Theatre on the Folsom High School campus.

The three-act ballet runs at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 16 and at 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 17. Tickets range from $10-$20.

Hawkins created the original choreography for this ballet which showcases the talent of the award-winning Ballet Folsom. The stage will light up with dancers, sets and costumes as the story unfolds to a score carefully selected by Hawkins.

“I love to choreograph and teach, it was very personal to me and I have always wanted to be a teacher,” Hawkins said. “The joy in it is working with a student at 4 or 5 years old and then watching them blossom into a ballerinas and young adults.”

Hawkins said ballet is more than just a job for her, it’s a lifestyle.

“Aside from my son and my friends, dance is my life,” she said. “It’s a total commitment; it’s a passion.”

Ballet Folsom is a company made up of 21 students, trainees, apprentices and principal dancers. “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” will also include about 40 guest dancers ranging in ages from 3 to 60 years old.

Jesslyn Lane, 18, El Dorado Hills, will dance the parts of a card, an oyster and part of the caterpillar in Saturday’s performance and will dance the role of Alice in Sunday’s show.

“When I was 10, I was a part of Ballet Folsom’s 2004 production of Alice in Wonderland and played the part of Little Alice when Alice shrinks in order to fit through the small door,” Lane said. “I was not yet part of the ballet company, but it was my first time dancing in a ballet production. I remember being in awe of the older dancers, hoping someday I would be able to dance like them and even get the chance to dance as Alice.

“This year I got that wish. I am so excited to play my dream role, but I am saddened that this will be my last ballet production with Ballet Folsom as I will be starting college in the fall. In a way though, finishing out my last season on the company with ‘Alice in Wonderland’ is a perfect ending to this chapter in my life,” she continued.

“Going from dancing as Little Alice in 2004 to Alice, now that I am 18 and college bound, is almost symbolic of my growth both in dancing and in life over the years,” Lane said.

Emily Paris, 15, of Folsom, will dance the white rabbit character on Saturday and the duchess, head caterpillar and dream Alice on Sunday.

“I’m so excited to be a part of ‘Alice in Wonderland,’” Paris said. “The show is whimsical and the props are fantastic. My characters are fun to perform because all of them have different personalities to portray and I get to be someone completely different from myself.”

She said dance is not just a hobby for her, but a way to help her cope with life.

“My favorite thing about dance is that you can forget about all the troubles of your day and release your mind into another world,” Paris said. “Dancing never gets boring because of the endless possibilities of moves to experiment with. There is always something to improve on. I don’t know what I would do if dance wasn’t such a huge part of my life.”

Hannah Silva, 17, of Granite Bay, will also step into the role of Alice.

“We have been preparing for months, and all of our hard work and anticipation leads up to the performances,” Silva said. “Dancing on stage in front of an audience is such a joyful and adrenaline-filled experience. It feels like time is standing still and only you and your pointe shoes exist.”

For more information and tickets for “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” call (916) 355-8080 or visit stages-performingarts.org.