Nov. 10—THOMASVILLE- One day before they took the stage as part of Thomasville Entertainment Foundation's 86th performance season, teaching artists from the acclaimed American Ballet Theatre Studio Company led classes for local dance students as part of TEF's educational outreach mission.
On Monday, dancers Kyra Coco and Madison "Maddie" Brown led a workshop for younger dancers from South Georgia Ballet's Step UP! outreach program, while longtime American Ballet Theatre dancer and soloist Arron Scott put SGB's Senior Company dancers through their paces in a master class at the Thomasville Center for the Arts.
"The impact of having ABT Studio here has been invaluable! The energy around the studio of inspired ballerinas is electric," said South Georgia Ballet Artistic Director Melissa June. "As a teacher, one of the most rewarding experiences is when your lessons are reinforced. A few weeks ago, we were working on a balance in attitude derrière, and I was referring to the Rose Adagio and how long the ballerina has to stay on her leg and balance. Much to my surprise, the Rose Adagio was featured in the performance, and those same dancers were able to see what we were talking about firsthand and how to execute that move. They made the connection," June explained.
"This is what community support makes possible... engaging, enriching and impactful arts experiences for young people in conjunction with live performances by acclaimed artists and ensembles for the community," explained TEF Executive & Artistic Director Rick Ivey. "The American Ballet Theatre is among the best of the best, and bringing its studio company to perform in Thomasville gives our patrons the rare opportunity to experience classical ballet of the highest caliber."
A component of one of the world's most celebrated dance companies, ABT Studio is a troupe of exceptionally promising dancers — aged 17 to 21 — that seeks to engage the broadest possible ballet audience by performing classical, neoclassical and contemporary repertoire. Their dynamic and diverse Thomasville performance on Tuesday evening featured neoclassical and contemporary pieces, as well as selections of classical works from "The Sleeping Beauty," "Swan Lake," "Don Quixote" and Alexei Ratmansky's "The Seasons."
"Cultivating the future of the performing arts and keeping our performance series accessible are important components of TEF's mission. We were thrilled to be able to provide 124 free tickets to dance studios in Thomasville, Cairo, Camilla, Tallahassee and Valdosta, as well as dance programs in Thomasville City and Thomas County schools, so their students and teachers could experience the artistry of the American Ballet Theatre Studio Company right here in Thomasville," Ivey added. "But we could not do all we do without the generous support of our patrons, individual donors, local foundations and program book advertisers season after season."
ABT Studio Company's performance and related educational activities were funded in part by a grant from the Lewis Hall and Mildred Sasser Singletary Foundation, with additional assistance and in-kind support from South Georgia Ballet. TEF's innovative Tickets for Teens program is funded by an annual grant from the Thomasville Antiques Show Foundation and an anonymous gift to TEF's Education Fund in honor of Nancy McCollum.
Thomasville Entertainment Foundation's 2023-24 performance season is made possible by major grants from the Emily and Bill Searcy Charitable Trust and the Parker Poe Charitable Trust, with additional support from the Jasper and Marthalene Davis Foundation, George E. Crouch Foundation, William Howard Flowers Jr. Foundation and Mr. and Mrs. Steve Gordon.
Founded in 1937, Thomasville Entertainment Foundation is a volunteer-powered, nonprofit organization. In addition to its annual performance season by acclaimed artists and ensembles, TEF also presents a dedicated free family series, provides scholarships for promising students in the performing arts and offers a slate of educational programs and events at no cost to participating students or schools.
Next up on TEF's 86th series is a December 5 performance of all six of Bach's Brandenburg Concertos by the world renowned Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. For more information on Thomasville Entertainment Foundation programming or to support TEF, visit https://tefconcerts.com or call 229-226-7404.