By W. Derek Russell
TUPELO – Tupelo Ballet director Sharon Long has been busy, as have her students.
“There are not many free Sundays in my life,” Long said, laughing.
As soon as the annual production of “The Nutcracker” ballet ended for the organization, they were hard at work on their next performance. “Snow White” and “Pas de Quatre” will be performed at the Tupelo High School Performing Arts Center on March 25.
Both performances are relatively short, and will be performed with an intermission in between.
“I love doing story ballets like ‘Snow White,’” Long said. “We needed something to go along with it. A lot of times when I do a story ballet, I’ll do a classical piece to go with it.”
Enter “Pas de Quatre,” act one of the production, straight from the 19th century.
“It’s very neoclassical,” she said. “It’s about four ballerinas who don’t like each other but are cast together. It’s a wonderful story about the original ballerinas that started many, many years ago. The choreographer sets this piece on them and they’re very jealous of each other. It’s very stylized and the girls have really enjoyed it. It’s very technical but they have had fun with it.”
Long said she thankfully doesn’t have any jealousy in her own company, though.
“That’s one thing I’m very fortunate about,” she said, laughing. “They work as a team. That makes it a whole lot easier as a director.”
Act two’s “Snow White” offers a unique opportunity for some laughs with a side of classic ballet.
“It’s such a wonderful children’s ballet with Snow White and the Queen and the Prince kissing (Snow) and making her dreams come true,” she said. “It’s really fun for the kids because the dwarves are so comical. It kind of gives a twist on a ballet production, which is often very serious, but this is a little touch of both.”
Long will have more than 40 cast members on stage performing. A tea with a chance to meet the cast will be at 10:30 a.m. in the PAC lobby.
“Those who love dance will get sheer enjoyment out of it,” Long said. “The music is beautiful and the costumes and sets are great. It’s a great family-oriented afternoon.”
Tickets for the March 25 performance are $20 and $15 for senior citizens and $10 for students. To purchase, call (662) 844-1928.
IF YOU GO
• What: Tupelo Ballet presents “Snow White” and “Pas de Quatre”
• When: 2 p.m., Saturday, March 25
• Where: Tupelo High School Performing Arts Center
• Tickets: $20, $15 senior citizens, $10 students
• Info: (662) 844-1928
• Bonus: High tea with cast at 10:30 a.m.
• “Snow White” company members: Anna Kirk Presley (Snow White); Paul Tillman of Ballet Arkansas (Prince); Molly Clark Hudson (Wicked Witch); Zac Harett (Huntsman); Cara Elizabeth Smart; Lily Roper; Hannah Ruth Culp; Addy Eckard; Ivy Lauren Moffatt; Charlotte Wise; Meri Alan Wolfe; Mia Katherine Todd; Sara Frances Wolfe; Mary Conlee Wilson; Carrie Rakestraw; Molly Clark Hudson; Anna Caryl Justice; Ginny Gray; Rebecca Talton; Isabella Webb; Hannah Faith Cox; Anna Calhoun; Emily Upchurch; Arabella Dowden; Hannah Hoang; Lucy Johnston; Caroline Michael; Paige Moore; Amelia Webb; Madison Denton; Meg Tucker; Lydia Asters; Alyssa Brohawn; Massie Eckard; Ginny Gray; Katie Cook Riley; Madison Denton; Jesse Lee Lesley; Alyssa Brohawn; Lydia Asters; Katie Cook Riley; Massie Eckard; Katherine Lesley; Andrea Brohawn; Natalie Moffatt; Adelaide Dow-den; Rebecca Johnston