Spring into 2019 with music, dance and a wonderful classic story

FLINT — Young People’s Ballet Theatre, a non-profit youth ballet company in its’ 31st year, will perform the ballet “A Little Princess”, Thursday through Sunday, Feb. 28-March 3.

A special discounted rate will be offered at our Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening performances for groups of Children and Senior Citizens. All performances are open to the public with advanced ticket pricing at $12 for adults and $10 for children, ages twelve and under.

Tickets sold at the door are $15 for Adults and $12 for children. Performances will be held Feb. 28 at 6:30 p.m., March 1 at 7 p.m., March 2 at 2: p.m. and 7 p.m., and March 3 at 2 p.m. at the University of Michigan- Flint Theatre, located at 303 E. Kearsley St., downtown Flint. With intermission, our ballet evening will be approximately two hours long.

“A Little Princess” is based on the classic novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett. This timeless tale, seen now as a full-length ballet, will win the hearts of audiences of all ages! Set during World War I, our story focuses on a young girl named Sara Crewe, who is relegated to a life of servitude in her boarding school after receiving news that her father, Captain Crewe, has gone missing in action. Although her status changes, she continues to inspire her school friends through her imaginative stories from India and holds on to the belief that “all girls are princesses”.

The choreographer, Dale Brannon, originally trained in Indianapolis and then studied and danced with the

Stuttgart Ballet in Germany where he was influenced by many famous choreographers, including Cranko, Tetley,

MacMillan, Neumeier, Kylian, Forsythe and Erik Bruhn.

Upon returning to America, he was a principal dancer with Ballet Met in Columbus, Ohio and then with the Louisville Ballet in Kentucky. Presently, he teaches in Kentucky and restages his ballets on other youth ballet companies throughout the country. Brannon has choreographed more than 19 original ballets on YPBT.

The guest artist, Alan Obuzor, will be dancing the lead role of Captain Crewe. Alan originates from Pittsburgh, Pa, is a former principal dancer with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, and was named one of the “Top 25 to Watch” in the 2013 Dance Magazine. As a student, he was the recipient of the prestigious “Princess Grace Award”. In 2011, he founded his own company, Texture Contemporary Ballet, based in Pittsburgh. He presently choreographs and performs with his company. Two of the Young People’s Ballet Theatre’s former dancers, Katie Miller and Hannah Buggy, are now honored to be professional dancers in his company. As a special treat for the audiences, Alan and Katie will prelude the performances with a stunning, but brief, Pas de Deux.

A Little Princess is produced and directed by Denise Paavola. Founder and Artistic Director of Young People’s Ballet Theatre, Paavola has been a ballet performer and instructor in the Flint area for many years. She performed professionally with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre and Ballet Michigan. Her passion for YPBT as a technical training school and a performing arts organization in the Flint area has influenced many young dancers and audiences over her 31-year history.

Dancers in A Little Princess playing lead roles are: Emily Czerniak, from Grand Blanc, dancing the role of Sara

Crewe, Ella Valerio from Flushing as Becky, Elleona Ortiz from Lansing as Amelia, and Catharine Terhune from Saginaw dancing the role of Miss Minchin. Other senior level dancers include: Kylie Fletcher from Flint Township, Chloe Wooley from Flint Township, and Claire Stefanic from Flushing.

Tickets may be purchased through TutuTix.com/ypbt, through our web site at www.ypbt.org, or by calling 855-2222849. For group tickets, please call 810-623-2980.

Technical and dress rehearsals will be held Feb. 26-27 at the University of Michigan-Flint Theatre — 303 E. Kearsley St. in Flint. Their studios are located at 5251 Commerce in Flint Township, off Miller and Dye Roads. — G.G.

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