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Spokane Youth Ballet gets silly and serious

Dancers Siqi He and Kaelyn Frederick will be part of the ‘Stone Flower’ performance Saturday. (Melissa Allen)
Dancers Siqi He and Kaelyn Frederick will be part of the ‘Stone Flower’ performance Saturday. (Melissa Allen)

Spokane Youth Ballet will give audiences a taste of everything ballet can offer during their performance on Saturday. Two very different ballets will be showcased: “The Stone Flower,” is a classical ballet featuring music by legendary Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev, and “Cindy-Rella,” is a comical re-imagining of the classic “Cinderella.”

“The Stone Flower,” Prokofiev’s final ballet, is based on the Russian folktale of the same name.

“It has not been seen much in this country at all,” said director and choreographer Kristen Potts, who was inspired to stage it because of her love for the score. “The music is just glorious. I love the whole idea,” she said.

“The Stone Flower,” also featuring the choreography of Natalie Carroll, was slightly abridged by Potts.

“The original ballet is very long. I have distilled the story down to a 50-minute ballet,” she said. She also noted that she eliminated some of the darker aspects of the story to make sure the performance is family friendly.

“Cindy-Rella,” choreographed by Phaedra Jarrett, provides audiences with a comical re-telling of “Cinderella” set to music from the 1940s. Spokane Youth Ballet performed “Cindy-Rella” four years ago as well. Potts was inspired to bring this work to Spokane audiences after she similarly re-imagined classical ballets for her dance school in Southern California, where she lived and taught for 25 years. “I wanted Phaedra to give her twist on it,” Potts said.

The performance features upwards of 75 dancers, including special guest Benjamin Tucker from the Nevada Theatre Ballet. Performers in “Cindy-Rella” have been preparing since October and “The Stone Flower” has been in the works since April.

This performance holds a special place in Potts’ heart as it will be her last before she retires. “It’s my swan song,” she said.



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