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					                     alexandra ballet                                ALEXANDRA ZAHARIAS                   A RT I S T I C D I R E C T O R

                       August 2003                       www.alexandraballet.com                           Volume V, Number 1



Upcoming Events                           Alice in Wonderland
September 26, 2003
Golf Tournament Fund Raiser
Crystal Springs Quarry Golf Course
                                          D        own, down the rabbit hole Alice
                                                   tumbled, into a curious world of
                                                   whimsical characters and dance,
                                          beautiful dance. Well, perhaps that isn’t the
                                          way the story usually goes, but it did on March
                                                                                                 This ballet, challenging to dancers with its
                                                                                             many scenery and costume changes,
                                                                                             combined with its rapid pace, was obviously a
                                                                                             delight for company dancers to perform. Each
                                                                                             dancer seemed to revel in the theatrics and
Maryland Heights, Missouri                7,8 and 9 at Edison Theatre as Alexandra           antics, yet technical mastery was not
                                          Ballet presented Alice in Wonderland, an           compromised and sensitivity to interpretation
Contact David Lucas, 636.399.8240 or
                                          original production choreographed by Sergey        was beautifully translated. Sharing the
Frank Buckley, 314.552.6010               Kozadayev and Susan O’Connell.                     demanding lead role of Alice were Megan
                                              Fantastical scenery and costumes,              Buckley and Consuelo Williams, who did an
September 27, 2003                        breathtaking choreography, the enchanting          outstanding job portraying the girl in the
KFUO Performance                          music of Jacques Ibert and Sir Edward Elgar,       midst of the confusion and ambivalence about
"Rhapsody in Bloom"                       and the delightful interpretation of the           growing up.
                                          dancers – all fused to offer performances              Guest artist Alexander Kozadayev was
Botanical Gardens, St. Louis, Missouri
                                          audiences found, well, downright wonder-filled.    outrageously funny as the Cheshire Cat and
free and open to the public                   Kozadayev, Artistic Director of Salt Creek     his execution of leaps and turns was
                                          Ballet, and O’Connell, also of Salt Creek in       breathtaking. Choreographer Sergey
October 18, 2003                          Westmont, Illinois, combined classical ballet,     Kozadayev made a cameo appearance as Lewis
Polish American Society Performance       tap, Broadway and even Keystone Cop antics         Carroll. Professional children’s entertainer
University Club, St. Louis, Missouri      to create a mesmerizing ballet. Music, lights,     Thomas Thale left the audiences gasping as
                                          unusual sound effects, dancers, and even           he wandered frantically about the stage
                                          scenery whirled about the stage in a               dressed as Fantastic Alice during the Pool of
November 21, 2003
                                          deliciously witty retelling of the beloved story   Tears scene.
The Nutcracker Suite                      of Alice, the little girl who fell down a rabbit       Enthusiastic bursts of laughter during the
Chesterfield Mall                         hole and landed in a surreal world of              performances and roaring applause at the end
Chesterfield, Missouri                    such odd characters as the mad Mad Hatter,         spoke clearly of how much the audiences,
                                          the befuddled White Rabbit, the exotic             young and older, enjoyed their adventure in
                                          Caterpillar and the mischievous Cheshire Cat.      Wonderland with Alexandra Ballet.
November 28, 2003
Sugar Plum Parties
Saint Louis Galleria
St. Louis, Missouri
                                                               David Lucas, New Board President
                                              To serve as President of the Board of          funding in place and our budget intact, in
March 5–7, 2004                           Directors of Alexandra Ballet is truly an          order to continue to provide the level of
                                          honor for me, and I am eager to meet the           professional production standards always
The Sleeping Beauty                       challenges that come with this position. First     associated with Alexandra Ballet.
Blanche Touhill Performing Arts Center,   and foremost, I would like to thank Hillary            The top priority, the very heart of this
UM–St. Louis Campus,                      Zimmerman for her leadership for the past          organization, is the pursuit of excellence
St. Louis, Missouri                       three-plus years. I have been on the board         consistently demonstrated by the Artistic
                                          during her term as                                 Staff and the dancers of the Company. As a
May 19–23, 2004                           president, and have learned                        board, it is our responsibility to enable this
                                          a great deal about the hard                        pursuit to continue. We will continue to
RDA Mid-States Festival                   work, commitment, and                              provide quality performances to our
Overland Park, Kansas                     cooperation that is                                community, the best in training to our
                                          required in order for a not-                       dancers, and a continuation of the highest
                                          for-profit organization such                       traditions of ballet brought to this city a half-
                                          as ours to survive. The fine                       century ago by our inspiring Artistic Director,
  If you have gifts and time you          group of individuals that                          Alexandra Zaharias.
                                          has come together on this board exhibits all           As you know, Alexandra Ballet produces a
        would like to share               these qualities, and I will do everything I can    full-length ballet every year—quite an
                                          to match their energy and dedication to this       impressive feat. We will produce yet another
  with Alexandra Ballet, please           organization.                                      one in March of 2004, when we present The
           contact the                        It is our desire that Alexandra Ballet not     Sleeping Beauty at the Blanche Touhill
                                          just survive, but thrive, even in these tough      Performing Arts Center on the campus of the
  Friends of Alexandra Ballet at          economic times. While arts organizations           University of Missouri-St. Louis. The venue is
          314-469-6222.                   federally and locally are cutting costs and        larger than we have had in the past, the
                                          curtailing donor programs, we know that we         production more beautiful, and with your
                                          cannot shortchange our community. We must          help, I know we can make this production,
                                          find other, more creative ways to keep our         and the entire season, a resounding success.
Alexandra Ballet Goes All Pointes North
                                                         The high point of the festival for the              Regional Dance America was founded in

A          lexandra Ballet traveled to
           Interlochen, Michigan, May 1-3 to
           attend the annual Regional Dance
America (RDA)/Mid-States Festival, hosted
by the Interlochen Dance Ensemble. More
                                                    company dancers came during the Gala
                                                    Performance, with the opportunity to perform
                                                                                                         1988 to promote the artistic development of

                                                    two pieces in the program that night. The first States. It continues the work of the National
                                                    piece, Pas de Six, from the Ballet La Vivandiere,
                                                                                                         dance companies throughout the United

                                                                                                         Association for Regional Ballet, which
                                                    was danced by Megan Buckley and guest artist         contributed to the decentralization of dance,
than a dozen regional ballet companies came         Jeffery Hover, as well as Sara Little, Heidi         as regional companies grew in stature and
together for a whirlwind weekend of classes,        Popp, Sabrina Walker and Consuelo Williams. quality nationwide. Membership has grown to
auditions, parties and performances,                This historic divertissement,
culminating in an extraordinary Gala Evening        restaged by choreographer Marek
containing not one, but two outstanding             Cholewa, reflected all the charm
performances by the talented dancers of             and sweetness of the Bournonville
Alexandra Ballet.                                   style, while exhibiting quick and
    The location for the festival was unique        complex footwork, and received
this year for the member companies of RDA           resounding ovations from the
Mid-States, who are accustomed to attending         knowledgeable audience for its
these functions in larger metropolitan areas.       execution.
Instead, this festival was set deep in the north        The second piece, entitled Pezzi
woods of Michigan on the campus of the              per Ametisto (Shades of Amethyst),
renowned Interlochen Center for the Arts, as        was danced by the entire company,
well-known for its rustic beauty and glassy         with Andrea Lucas and Brian
lakes as it is for its excellent training in the    Moore in the lead roles. Originally
arts. Instead of taking escalators or concrete      choreographed by Robert Kelley
sidewalks to class, dancers walked the wooded       and restaged by Alexandra Ballet’s
trails to classes which provided beautiful vistas   Norma Gabriel, this powerful
of pine forests and pristine lakes.                 contemporary ballet, set to the
    Mornings and afternoons during the              haunting music by Sergei Prokofiev,            Magali Messac teaches a group of dancers from
festival were filled with classes in ballet,        awed the audience with its beauty                             Alexandra Ballet.
pointe, pas de deux, modern, jazz, yoga and         and intensity. Robert Kelley, in
labanotation, and were taught by a                  attendance at the festival as part of the            five geographical areas, including more than
distinguished faculty including Magali Messac,      Regional Dance America’s National Board,             two hundred companies, with more than two
Stephen Pier, Michael Uthoff, Stephanie             honored the dancers with some correction and dozen nationally recognized professional
Rand and others. The evenings were filled           direction during their rehearsal period the          groups. The RDA dedicates itself to fostering
with programs selected and arranged by              afternoon before the event.                          quality, promoting education, and nuturing
adjudicator Thom Chlower, highly-esteemed               These two pieces, performed by the               the talents of dancers and choreographers
for his broad range of knowledge and training       dancers of Alexandra Ballet, demonstrated the throughout the country, while exploring new
in many styles of ballet; Vaganova,                 superior training they receive on a daily basis.     horizons.
Balanchine, Cechetti and Bournonville.              National Board Member Alun Jones (former                 Next year’s festival, The Center of it All,
    Alexandra Ballet dancers made a fine            Artistic Director of Louisville Ballet) put it       will be hosted by Kansas Regional Ballet in
showing in the audition results at the end of       this way, “To have two pieces performed at the Overland Park, Kansas, on the weekend of
the festival at the Gala Banquet. Anna              Gala Performance is an honor in itself, and          May 20–22, 2004.
Jennings was awarded a cash prize of $250,          I’m not sure that I’ve ever seen it done before,
and dancers Katie Fanger and Heidi Popp             but to have two such diverse pieces, and to
both won scholarships for summer intensive          perform them so expertly, is an extraordinary
programs. Several other company dancers             accomplishment.”
were named alternates for other programs.


                                           A Grand Pas de Deux: An Evening of Celebration
                                                    O        n a pleasant April evening lovely
                                                             costumed dancers drifted gracefully
                                                             through the rooms of a beautiful
                                                    historic mansion as guests chatted and
                                                    mingled. Magnificent floral arrangements
                                                                                                            A silent auction and a pot of gold were
                                                                                                        part of the evening’s festivities as well as a
                                                                                                        charming fashion show in which the dancers
                                                                                                        modeled costumes from well-known classical
                                                                                                        ballets. Artistic Director Alexandra Zaharias
                                                    adorned tables and a beautiful ice sculpture of     described each costume as dancers descended
                                                    pointe shoes took center stage in a sumptuous       the grand marble spiral staircase.
                                                    display of hors d’oeuvres.                              A Grand Pas de Deux was a tremendously
                                                        The historic home of John and Robin             successful fundraising event for the company.
                                                    Porta was the setting for A Grand Pas de            More than 150 balletomanes attended the
                                                    Deux: An Evening of Celebration and the             event coordinated by former board member
                                                    opportunity for the St. Louis community to          Charlotte Koch. Many local businesses
                                                    support the company’s artistic endeavors.           graciously donated items for this important
                                                        The Portas graciously hosted the event at       fundraiser.
                                                    their beautiful Italianesque mansion in St.             “Because of the generous donations of St.
     Robin Porta and daughter, Ashley, at A
                                                    Louis. The mansion has been painstakingly           Louis businesses and individuals, this was one
       Grand Pas de Deux: An Evening of
                                                    restored to its original grandeur and beauty by     of the ballet company’s most successful
    Celebration which was a grand fundraising
                                                    the Portas. It was built in the 1800s for a         fundraising efforts,” said Zaharias, “and we are
         endeavor for Alexandra Ballet.
                                                    tobacco baron who decided to settle near the        deeply grateful for their support.”
                                                    great Mississippi River.
2           August 2003
Alumni News
   Jennifer Deckert graduated in May from the University of Utah with a bachelor of arts
degree in dance. She will return to the university in the fall for graduate studies in dance.
    Rodney Hamilton of Ballet Hispanico made his hometown professional dance debut to two
sold-out performances at Edison Theatre in April. Deborah Cottin of the St. Louis Post-
Dispatch reviewed the company’s performances and said Rodney displayed “an exceptionally
honed movement quality for a young dancer.”
   Rachel Peppin, principal dancer with the Birmingham Royal Ballet, had the honor of
demonstrating a new Pilates machine for His Royal Highness Prince Charles when he toured
the ballet company’s facilities recently.
    Kimberle Hesker was in town for a visit with Miss A in March. Kim has been dancing for
Crystal Cruise Lines since 2001 aboard the Crystal Symphony. She has traveled the world,
seeing most of the Mediterranean, the Baltic, and Asia. She left on March 6 for a four-month
tour of New Zealand, Australia, Chile, and England. In August, she will return to Pasadena,
California, for a month of rehearsals before leaving to tour Canada at the end of the year.              Rachel Peppin demonstrates a Pilates
                                                                                                        machine for Prince Charles of England.



Alexandra Ballet Dancers Are Off for a Summer of Study
Alexandra Ballet dancers are studying at various prestigious summer arts programs this year.

Suzi Bonnot, Jillana, Taos Ski Valley, NM          Rachael Moore, Mussorgsky,
Megan Buckley, American Ballet Theatre,             St. Petersburg, Russia
 New York City, NY, and Cholewa-Ruffo              Shelly Nolan, Perry-Mansfield,
 Intensive, Indianapolis, IN                        Steamboat Springs, CO
Aimee Chastain, Central Pennsylvania               Heidi Popp, Ballet Moscow Intensive,
 Youth Ballet                                       University of Northern Illinois
Katie Fanger, American Ballet Theatre, CA          Ashley Porta, Joffrey, New York City, NY
Charity Garner, Joffrey, New York City, NY         Jessica Ruhlin, White Mt. Summer Dance
Chelsea Hollenkamp, Ballet Internationale,          Festival, Springfield, MA
 Indianapolis, IN                                  Jamie Russell, American Ballet Theatre,
Anna Jennings, Ballet Internationale,               Tuscaloosa, AL
 Indianapolis, IN                                  Aggie Schmank, American Ballet Theatre,
Sara Little, American Ballet Theatre,               Austin, TX
 Austin, TX                                        Sabrina Walker, Chicago Art Institute
Andrea Lucas, American Ballet Theatre, New         Allison Wildi, Joffrey, San Antonio, TX             Rachael Moore will spend six months this
 York City, NY, and Cholewa-Ruffo Intensive,       Consuelo Williams, American Ballet Theatre,         summer and fall, in St. Petersburg, Russia,
                                                                                                        studying ballet at the Mussorgsky. She is
 Indianapolis, IN                                   New York City, NY                                     pictured with Marek Cholewa, during
Audrey McFarland, Ballet Internationale,           Susan Zimmerman, American Ballet Theatre,             Alexandra Ballet’s Summer Intensive.
 Indianapolis, IN                                  Austin, TX
Brian Moore, Perry-Mansfield,
 Steamboat Springs, CO


Car Raffle Winner                                  Company Welcomes New Officers
                                                                                                     metropolitan area in 2002 and 2003 through

                                                   T      he 2002-2003 season was a tremendous
                                                          success for Alexandra Ballet. Every
                                                          performance, from the annual
                                                   Nutcracker Suites at the beginning of the
                                                   season to the fabulously received spring
                                                                                                     Alexandra Ballet. The company wishes to
                                                                                                     extend its heartfelt appreciation for their
                                                                                                     tireless efforts.
                                                                                                         The new board president will be David
                                                                                                     Lucas, owner of Hewitt-Lucas, Inc. Michael
                                                   production of Alice in Wonderland, was            Knoke of Kelly Services, Inc. will serve as
                                                   extremely well received this season. But much     vice president. New board members are Tarris
                                                   of the company’s success occurs behind the        Caston, Pat Catanzaro, Maria Costello, Pat
                                                   scenes, not on stage. Fundraising, budgeting,     Hagerty, Robert Hill, and Bonnie Unal.
                                                   long-range planning—these activities perhaps          “We are thrilled to have these outstanding
                                                   lack the sparkle of a performance but without     individuals join the board and I look forward
Lisa Kraner (right), partner in the Clayton law    them there are no performances. The success       to working with them,” said Artistic Director
firm of Paster, West & Kraner, shows her           of such behind-the-scenes activities this         Alexandra Zaharias. “We have had such an
winning ticket from the Alexandra Ballet           season was due in large measure to the            excellent working relationship with the board
2003 Car Raffle to past president, Hillary         outstanding leadership of the officers and        and I look forward to a continuation of that
Zimmerman. Lisa decided to forego the 2003         board of directors of Alexandra Ballet.           relationship in the 2003-2004 season. It will
Ford Mustang provided by Reuther Ford in               These individuals generously invested their   be an exciting year."”
favor of the cash option, and made a generous      time and talents to bring professional quality
donation to Alexandra Ballet.                      ballet performances to the St. Louis
                                                                                                                      August 2003                    3
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Phone: 314.469.6222
Fax: 314.469.6222
E-mail: alexandra@alexandraballet.com




Alexandra Ballet is funded in part by:




Alice School Performance a Huge Success
   Children giggled, squealed, clapped, oohed
and aahed, and sometimes even jumped up in
their seats in excitement as Alexandra Ballet
presented a special performance of Alice in                                                           Thank You, Alexandra Ballet!
Wonderland for area school groups Friday,
March 7, at Edison Theatre. Emerson                                                                      The following is a note from a teacher
generously sponsored the school performance.                                                          who attended the school performance
   Spellbound by Fantastic Alice, awestruck                                                           with her class:
by the howls of the Cheshire Cat, and
mesmerized by the constantly moving dancers,
scenery and lights, nearly one thousand
                                                                                                          “I have to tell you that the children
children thrilled to the beloved story of Alice
                                                      Dancer, Sarah Stockman, signs autographs for
and her adventures in Wonderland.                             children from the audience.                had a wonderful time at the ballet.
   For many it was their first ballet
performance, and they were brimming with                                                                 One child wanted to know how to
questions. They got a chance to ask those           was closer to their size. Some said Fantastic       audition for shows like yours, others
questions following the performance when the        Alice because he got to walk on stilts and that
dancers returned to the stage to meet the           must be fun! Many liked the Cheshire Cat               told animated stories about the
children and visit with them. “Does it hurt to      best because it was funny when he yanked off
                                                                                                           Pool of Tears, the big and little
stand on the tips of your toes?” “How did the       his tail and howled.
Fantastic Alice get so tall?” “How long did             Many of the groups attending sent thank-         Alices and the Caterpillar, among
you have to practice?” “How long have you           you notes to Alexandra Ballet and Emerson
been a dancer?” were just some of the eager         expressing their appreciation of and                 others. Thank you so much for your
questions presented to the dancers and each         excitement over the performance. One note                generosity. It was a perfect
question was answered thoughtfully.                 read “We really loved the show! It was so
   And which character was their favorite?          terrific that we almost fainted!”                      performance for our children.”
Some said Tiny Alice, perhaps because she

				
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