Westside Ballet are Masters of Movement

Dancers are, back row, Sirena Klipfel (15), 9th grader at Culver City High; front row from left, Asha LeeBogart (11) of Farragut Elementary, Isla Segar( 12) and Luna Mizorogi (12), both from Culver City Middle School. (Photo by Anne Slattery)

The Westside Ballet of Santa Monica hosts two special performances on Friday, May 26 and Saturday, May 27: Masters of Movement: Ballet through the Centuries. 

Friday is “professional night,” as it will feature alumni Adrian Blake Mitchell and his Slovakian partner, Andrea Laššáková, in Christopher Wheeldon’s After the Rain. The annual Soirée special event also includes cocktails, appetizers and awards.

“The Soirée special event honors Ralph and Eileen Horowitz with the Bravo! Award, & Morley Builders with the Huntley Santa Monica Beach Community Arts Award,” they say. “Catering generously donated by Urth Caffe with Bar by The Huntley Hotel.”

On Saturday, the pre-professionals and younger performers get their turn, as Evan Hull (14) and Spencer Collins (10) will present their Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP) variations. Evan will perform a solo from La Fille Mal Gardée by Jean Dauberval (1789) whilst Spencer dances his solo from The Talisman (Petipa, 1895).

According to the press release, “On Saturday, May 27, the festivities continue with repertoire featuring the Westside Premiere of George Balanchine’s Emeralds Pas de Trois; excerpts from Sleeping Beauty; Handel Dances by resident choreographer Sophie Monat; and concluding with audience favorite A Chorus Line. Saturday’s pre-professional showcase includes divertissements from Marius Petipa’s Raymonda, as well as Ms. Wormer’s piece, again with live music.”

“In these two performances, dancing serves as a means to convey ideas that go beyond words and touch the hearts of the audience. The evolution of dance from the classical to the contemporary: Petipa, Balanchine, Wheeldon. Timeless. Classical,” shares Westside Ballet’s artistic director Martine Harley.

The Friday Soirée and Saturday Showcase performances will both open by introducing all dancers, from the youngest and newest to the ‘étoiles’.

“Both performances feature Westside’s advanced pre-professional dancers in excerpts from Raymonda from ballet’s archetypal classical choreographer, Marius Petipa, set to glorious music by the Russian composer Alexander Glazunov and a libretto by the author and columnist, Countess Lydia Pashkova,” they say. “Perfectly, the Saturday Showcase performances feature excerpts from Petipa’s Sleeping Beauty, including The Garland Dance, and Friends Dance.”

The event takes place on Friday, May 26, 6 p.m. Soirée reception and awards, followed by the 8 p.m. Masters of Movement with special performances; and on Saturday, May 27, 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. shows of the Masters of Movement pre-professional Spring Showcases. Both at The Eli and Edythe Broad Stage at the Santa Monica College Performing Arts Center, 1310 11th St, Santa Monica 90401. Saturday Showcase tickets are $45. The Soirée Friday reception and special performance are $100-300. Tickets available online at www.westsideballet.com or by phone (additional fees apply) at (800) 595-4849 (4TIX).