Midwinter Dance Festival hits the stage this week

Butler students practice “Chapeau Réal” in preparation for the annual Midwinter Dance Festival. Photo by Carly Dobert.

MADDY KLINE | STAFF REPORTER | mgkline@butler.edu

Butler Ballet’s annual Midwinter Dance Festival will be held Feb. 12 through Feb 17.

During the academic year, Butler Ballet performs two classical ballets along with Midwinter. The classical ballets for this year, The Nutcracker and Sleeping Beauty, feature the traditional style of dance; the movements are more graceful and elegant. Conversely, Midwinter typically focuses on contemporary styles of dance, which employ elements of modern, jazz, and classical styles.  

Each year, two completely different programs of Midwinter are performed on different days and times. Both programs feature separate casts and performances for audiences to enjoy. However, both programs will end featuring choreographer Gerald Arpino’s piece, ‘Light Rain,’ the signature ballet of the Joffrey Ballet company throughout the 80s and 90s.

Sophomore Rebecca Tschan was cast as a lead in a traditional classical ballet piece and will be performing in ‘Light Rain’ as well. She said Midwinter is very different from Butler Ballet’s classical shows.

“Midwinter is actually a time for our professors to choreograph their own things and just kind of put themselves on the stage through dancers,” Tschan said. “Every Midwinter we also have a répétiteur set a piece on us, so it’s already been choreographed and done in the past.”

Senior Gaby DenBlanken has performed in Midwinter since her first year at Butler, but she said this is the first year she hasn’t been cast in a classical ballet piece.

“All of Butler Ballet splits off and works with different choreographers and for the programs we all come together and see what each faculty member set on the students,” DenBlanken said. “It’s cool seeing what the choreographers can do and seeing your peers dance differently than they do for Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty or Cinderella.”

Midwinter is an opportunity for Butler Ballet dancers to showcase the diversity of their talent as well as the diversity of dance.

All performances will take place in the Schrott Center for the Arts. Adult tickets are $15, senior citizens are $10, and children and Butler students are $7.

Program A will be performed Feb. 13 at 7 p.m., Feb. 15 at 7:30 p.m. and Feb 16. at 2 p.m. Additionally, Program B will be performed Feb. 14 at 7:30 p.m., Feb. 16 at 7:30 p.m. and Feb. 17 at 2 p.m. Program B may have graphic material unsuitable for children.

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