Ballet Frontier of Texas wows in Nutcracker performance

first_imgFacebook Twitter Twitter ReddIt Abbey Block Linkedin Abbey Block Fort Worth set to elect first new mayor in 10 years Saturday Rising number of students reporting mental health issues Abbey Block Women in STEM: bias and bridging the gap + posts Fort Worth girl searches for a bone marrow donor Facebook Fort Worth residents talk election results over breakfast Abbey Block ReddIt Abbey Block Previous articleTCU falls to No.11 Oklahoma State, 31-6Next articleIt’s official: Caylin Moore is a Rhodes Scholar Abbey Block RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Grains to grocery: One bread maker brings together farmers and artisans at locally-sourced store printWith a combination of talented dancers, adorable children, and vibrant visuals, Ballet Frontier of Texas’ rendition of the Nutcracker was both beautiful and entertaining.The ballet celebrated it’s 10th anniversary by putting a fun spin on a Christmas classic, with elements of humor and entertainment scattered through the show.The plot:Act One opens at a holiday party on Christmas Eve hosted by the Stahlbaum family. The Stahlbaum children, Clara and Fritz are eager for the guests to arrive. The party grows more festive and both the children and their parents begin to dance when Clara’s mysterious godfather, Drosselmeyer, arrives. He brings life-sized dolls, toys for the children, and a beautiful nutcracker for Clara.As the evening winds down and the guests begin to leave, the Stahlbaum family retires to bed. Clara sneaks back to the Christmas tree to retrieve her nutcracker. When the clock strikes midnight, the magic unfolds. Clara begins to shrink and is caught in a battle between an army of toy soldiers led by her beloved nutcracker and an evil army of mice. It seems as if the mouse king will defeat the nutcracker. Clara throws her shoe to distract the enemy, giving the nutcracker a chance to win.Clara is whisked away by the snow king and queen to the land of the sweets. In Act Two, she meets the sugar plum fairy and cavalier who reward her for her bravery in defeating the mouse king. A celebration of dance begins. Clara is entertained by dancers dressed as Spanish hot chocolate, Arabian coffee, Chinese tea, Russian candy and many others. The story ends with Clara leaving the magical scene to return home for Christmas.The performers:The show’s performers demonstrated both talent and poise. Even the youngest members of the cast acted professionally while on stage. When one young ballerina’s shoe accidently came off in the middle of the dance, the performers continued on as if nothing had happened- an indication of well-trained dancers.The cast was made up of many young performers, who are obviously still learning and growing within their ballet careers. Although their technique may not have been perfect, these tiny dancers demonstrated that a performance does not need to be technically flawless to be entertaining. Their enthusiasm was a positive addition to the performances of the older and more seasoned dancers.The show’s artistic director is Chung-Lin Tseng, who began his artistic career as a figure skater. Photo by Amy Shaw.A few stand-out performers made the show special. Clara (Payton Burdine) and Frtiz (Luke Jones) danced with grace and confidence that were far beyond their years. Clara demonstrated strong technique while dancing on pointe, despite her apparent young age. The Russian couple (Aldrin Vendt and Maria Howard) drew cheers from the audience for their high jumps and energetic kicks. The sugar plum fairy (Kathryn Boren) and cavalier (Paul Adams) wowed everyone with their technique and grace while dancing as a pair and while performing their solos.Unique elements:Within the dances, the show added in bits of humor.Perhaps the most entertaining was the army of evil mice that fight the nutcracker and toy soldiers. The mouse army’s costumes are oversized and clunky, which only added to the mice’s comical performance.The audience laughed as the mice flopped around the stage in an attempt to defeat the opposition. This bit of humor was a fun way to make the show entertaining for those who may not necessarily enjoy a ballet.The show was enhanced by its use of well-designed sets and costumes. The sets were visually stimulating but in no way overwhelming to the eye.From the set of the Christmas party to the land of the sweets, the background only enhanced the dancers’ performances and never detracted from them. The costumes looked professional and authentic, like the of the sugar plum fairy’s tutu, accentuating the performance of Kathryn Boren.Photo by Amy Shaw. Pictured: Kathryn Boren as the sugar plum fairy.There are many ways in which to tell the story of the Nutcracker. Ballet Frontier of Texas created a performance that honored the tradition of the story, but did not seem boring or stuffy. The show was well-directed and well-executed.The performers, both novice and advanced, acted professionally but also showed their passion for ballet.Overall this performance of a holiday classic was entertaining for everyone, not just those who enjoy ballet.Tickets and information can be found here.  Abortion access threatened as restrictive bills make their way through Texas Legislature Linkedinlast_img read more

Students at John Muir High School Stage Walkout Over Durags and Dress Code

first_img Get our daily Pasadena newspaper in your email box. Free.Get all the latest Pasadena news, more than 10 fresh stories daily, 7 days a week at 7 a.m. Make a comment [Updated]   Students at John Muir High School staged a walkout at 9:27 a.m. on Wednesday to protest a district-wide ban on wearing headscarves, known as “durags,” in school.Organized by the JMHS Black Student Union, the walkout at the school was planned as a show of unity in response to a failed attempt to achieve “middle ground” on the ban, upheld by the Pasadena Unified School District.“It’s like Muslim people wearing scarves, durags have a cultural significance for black men,” said Reggie Myles, a college-bound senior at JMHS, who participated in the walkout. “In the now, you have people embracing their culture within their natural hair. In the past men used to perm their hair and now you have black men wearing short hair with waves.”The walkout stemmed from the students’ desire to wear durags in school. Head coverings are not allowed to be worn in school as per the district-wide dress code that bans the use of hats and head coverings. In addition, the display of certain clothing styles and certain colors could represent gang affiliation and the district, like all school districts, has a duty to protect its students.“While these are important conversations, the best place for students to discuss concerns is in school, with teachers and staff,” said Principal Lawton Gray. “We are providing classroom and campus dialogue to provide secure forums where all opinions are respected in both words and actions.“Currently, our school dress code does not allow for durags for head coverings. Our dress code is developed in cooperation with with teachers, students and parents/guardians and are consistent with the law, Board policy, and the values of the John Muir community.”The walkout was peaceful and the students returned to class within the hour. During the staged walkout the students chanted “I am not dangerous,” according to witnesses. Many had their hands in the air, but it was a peaceful — and relatively short — expression of disagreement with the ban.The JMHS Black Student Union began planning the walkout following a lunch meeting last Friday with Gray over the matter. Upholding district rules, Gray told the students he believes there is no middle ground on the subject, according to the students.Historically and anecdotally, durags have come to represent gang activity. The students say that is an old stereotype and it’s time for a change.The walkout was designed to coincide with fourth period, at which time the kids would be marked absent if not in their respective classrooms.The students argue that durags, also known as “wave caps” keep the hair flat, allowing men to wear their hair in natural style when removed. And Myles said the durag has also been embraced as part of modern clothing wear.“Designers like Louis Vuitton and Gucci, they make durags as a fashion statement,” he said. “We disagree with the ‘criminalizing’ of black men, as black men are the ones who wear durags.”Michelle Bailey of Pasadena School Board’s third district weighed in.“The conversation has to go deeper,” Bailey said. “When I think about being at school I think about preparing for higher education. When you look at pictures of people who are successful in their business, they’re not wearing durags.”Bailey also said the conversation about durags is valid but it might have a better platform outside of school.“Because the students are tying it to culture it’s a legitimate discussion that maybe should be had at the community level. ”Gray said this subject needs further examination.“Conversations with students will be ongoing,” he said. “Our school welcomes, values and supports all students and their families and remains committed to preparing graduates who are civically engaged, resilient and productive citizens of the 21st century.“For their own safety and to follow the law, students should limit their activities to times that don’t interfere with their learning, and they should remain in class,” Gray said. The safety and well-being of students is our top priority.” First Heatwave Expected Next Week Subscribe Pasadena’s ‘626 Day’ Aims to Celebrate City, Boost Local Economy Top of the News Business News HerbeautyInstall These Measures To Keep Your Household Safe From Covid19HerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty’First Daughters’: From Cute Little Kids To Beautiful Young WomenHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty9 Of The Best Family Friendly Dog BreedsHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyTiger Woods Is ‘Different Man’ 10 Years After ScandalHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyThese Fashion Tips Are Making Tall Girls The Talk Of The TownHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyWant To Seriously Cut On Sugar? You Need To Know A Few TricksHerbeautyHerbeauty Community News 6 recommendedShareShareTweetSharePin it center_img Community News Pasadena Will Allow Vaccinated People to Go Without Masks in Most Settings Starting on Tuesday Name (required)  Mail (required) (not be published)  Website  More Cool Stuff latest #1 Students at John Muir High School Stage Walkout Over Durags and Dress Code By DONNA BALANCIA | Photograph by EMILY CATTOUSE Published on Wednesday, February 20, 2019 | 2:47 pm Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * faithfernandez More » ShareTweetShare on Google+Pin on PinterestSend with WhatsApp,Virtual Schools PasadenaHomes Solve Community/Gov/Pub SafetyPASADENA EVENTS & ACTIVITIES CALENDARClick here for Movie Showtimes EVENTS & ENTERTAINMENT | FOOD & DRINK | THE ARTS | REAL ESTATE | HOME & GARDEN | WELLNESS | SOCIAL SCENE | GETAWAYS | PARENTS & KIDS Home of the Week: Unique Pasadena Home Located on Madeline Drive, Pasadenalast_img read more