by BRIGITTE NELSON
The West Michigan Youth Ballet Company is gearing up for its final performance of the season, appropriately titled: Spring into Dance! After a cold and protracted winter, we are all eager to put that season behind us and take a big leap into the season of spring, and what better way to greet it than with a dance. The students have prepared three ballets. The first one-sure to be a crowd pleaser-is a ballet to the ever-popular music of the Beatles. It is not just the parents of the dancers who love to hear those familiar songs that played such a role in our growing-up years. The dancers themselves, all between the ages of 6 to 18, seem to love to hear and dance to those favorites, like “Because,” “Something in the Way She Moves,” “Mr. Kite,” “All you need is Love” and “Octopus’ Garden.”
The second ballet is of an entire different nature. It is a way to honor and remember a beloved young dancer who passed away as a result of a car accident one year ago, at the age of 17. Rebecca Vogelsang, as talented as she was beautiful and intelligent, was beloved by all who knew her, including those of us at the WMYBC. The ballet The Flight, an original piece by Chieko Imada set to the music of Ralph Vaughn Williams, will give voice to the deep-felt emotions that cannot be expressed in words, and yet need to be “spoken.” The WMYBC members believe the most appropriate way to honor Rebecca is through the beautiful medium of dance, which she herself loved so much.
The performance will conclude with the seven-piece Leroy Anderson Suite, including the humorous portrayal of The Syncopated Clock, as well as The Typewriter. If the new generation has no clue anymore what a typewriter actually is, and the role it played in the by-gone era, the WMYBC will do its part to make sure that this handy device will not sink into oblivion and disappear forever from our consciousness!
Rockford dancers in the company are Rockford High School eleventh grader Kathleen Bomer, 10-year-old Lauren Hyink, a fourth grade student at Cannonsburg Elementary School, and third grade student Rachel Walker, who is homeschooled. Come and see these girls, and feel a sense of pride at the great talent which is present in our community.
Performances will be at 2 and 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 2 at the Forest Hills Fine Arts Center, 600 Forest Hills Avenue, next to the YMCA. Tickets are $6 for children 10 and younger, and $12 for all others, and can be obtained by calling FHFAC box office at 493-8966.