Dance Celebration presents ‘Thumbelina’

Thumbelina 2017

Thumbelina, the dance/ballet interpretation presented by the Three Hills Dance Celebration at Parable Place May 4-7, had just about everything one could hope for.

The “Pre-School”, “Pre-Primary” and “Primary Ballet” were “Over the top” in cuteness. They obviously were enjoying themselves and certainly delighted the audience as well. At the other end of the scale were the performances of the instructors and teachers in training and the students in the Intermediate and Advanced Foundation category, several of which have been with Dance Celebration for many years.

The school instructs in ballet, highland, jazz/lyrical styles and it is up to the Principal, Jennifer Yourk and her assistants, to decide what style to fit with what characters or scenes. Somehow to have the frogs and crickets adopting a “highland” pattern, and the “junebugs”and the “weavers/spiders to be expressing themselves in lyrical and jazz mode seemed the only way it could or should be.

And then there was, of course, the classical “en pointe” featured in solo and small groupings where the Advanced Foundation/instructors were dancing.

The costumes were so well suited to the characters whether they were the flowers, fish or little butterflies or the Seasons of Summer, Fall, or Winter, or Mr. Mole.

Twelve individuals were listed in the program as “Cast of Characters” and they would be the “stars” or “leading persons” if it were a drama per se. But in the production itself counting the total number of students, from the beginner to the most advanced, there were just under 60.

The story of Thumbelina is a fairy tale written in 1835 by Hans Christian Andersen and translated into English in 1846. Depending on which version one goes by, but basically a childless couple is rewarded by a fairy for a kind deed done for her. She gives a magic bulb to the couple that when it blossoms there is a tiny “thumb size” (Thumbelina) daughter for them. She is kidnapped by frogs (or toads) to be married to their son, but is rescued. Then she is protected from winter weather, and finds shelter with mice. They, in turn, want to marry her off to Mr. Mole, but the sparrows deliver her from that fate. She is then transported to fairyland where she is eventually married to the fairy prince and, of course, they live happily ever after.

The Dance Celebration and its many workers, from instructors and dancers and production crew and volunteers and sponsors, presented a delightful interpretation of this classic. The opening night saw Parable Place “packed”. We will be looking forward to next year’s production.

The program listed June classes and early registration for the 2017/2018 year and the likelihood of a July dance camp. 403-443-7109 is the number to call for more details.