The annual Student Summer Showcase of School of the Minnesota Ballet happened at noon on July 25 at Duluth Public Library Plaza. This showcase is a summer routine for the school and the Duluth City. School of the Minnesota Ballet has been holding this showcace at the end of July each year for around two decades. It always is a free showcase open to the public.
Artistic Director of the school, Robert Gardner, gave the opening presentation and turned the stage to the students. During the showcase, around 30 ballet students brought the audience 17 programs with various dance styles including classical ballet, jazz, tap and musical theater. It took teachers and students six weeks to prepare for this one-hour event.
There were several highlights during the showcase, and the last dance "Hair" was definitely one of them. Twelve girls and one boy let down their hair and danced to the powerful music, which moved the audiences.
“The point of this showcase is to help students grow as performers and get audiences,”said Lila White, principal of the School of Minnesota Ballet. “We want people to know we are here and we have some really talented kids in this school.”
Ballet is a big time-commitment for dancers, and performing asks for experiences. One of students from School of the Minnesota Ballet, Juliette Marts, has been learning ballet for 13 years, starting at the age of two. Yet she is not a mature performer but she is not stopping.
“I was super nervous on stage,” said Marts. “But yes, I am really happy about how the showcase turned out.”
Another student, Stella Peckham, said the most challenging part when they prepared for the showcase was remembering all the choreography.
“I was really nervous too. Especially for some dances. We finished them just a few days ago,” Peckham then joked. “I feel lucky that I did not fall off the stage or anything.”
The audiences included dance lovers, passengers, family and friends of the students, and they all gave generous compliments after the show. Izzy Teitelbaum and Ruth Yates had seen the the hard work of their friends Marts and Peckham and came to support them.
“We loved it (the showcase)!” said Teitelbaum and Yates.