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KTB’s Spring Gala set for May 10, 11: Titled ‘From the Page to the Stage’
Ketchikan Theatre Ballet dancers, from left, Paige Avila, Emily Bolling and Sophie Cron rehearse a piece Thursday for KTB's Spring Gala event titled “From the Page to the Stage” on Friday, May 10, and Saturday, May 11. Photo by Jess Berto

KETCHIKAN (KDN) — The Ketchikan Theatre Ballet will present its annual Spring Gala event titled “From the Page to the Stage,” May 10 and 11, at Ketchikan High School.

“It’s all inspired by books and poems and the written word,” said KTB Executive Director Elizabeth Schultz in an interview Monday afternoon.

She said this will be the first performance created around that theme, and it will include about 19 pieces and 112 dancers.

“I think that everybody had a really good time with it,” she said.

The show opens, Schultz said, with a piece that begins with the dancers seated, reading books.

“It’s as if them reading, brings the rest of the show to life,” she explained.

One piece in the program, choreographed by Schultz, is based on the “Before I die …” interactive walls set up downtown by the Rendezvous Senior Day Center this past fall. Schultz said the organization provided her with transcripts of what passersby had written to finish that sentence. Schultz then recorded locals Elizabeth Nelson and Hunter Davis reading the finished sentences.

Schultz said the sentences had been filled out with “all of these poignant and important things,” and were inspiring.

“That was a really neat experience,” Schultz said.

She added that reading the sentences, filled with people’s hopes and dreams, was very inspiring to the KTB dancers.

“It fit perfectly with our theme for Spring Gala,” she said.

When asked how they approached creating dances from the sentences, Schultz said she asked dancers to highlight the ideas and thoughts that most inspired them, then to create movements matched to their connections to the messages.

In the performance of this piece, Schultz said music will play along with the readings of the messages, as the dancers perform.

“Basically, I would think of it more as a performance piece,” Schultz said, “because Elizabeth Nelson and Hunter are so powerful with their words, so you’re listening to what’s happening and being affected by the musical and the voice score.”

Also in the Spring Gala performance, will be jazz, tap and ballet performances.

Instructor Jess Berto choreographed a jazz piece inspired by the “Great Gatsby,” Schultz said.

New to their program will be a hip hop piece, that will include senior-level dancers, as well as the mid-level and younger students.

The youngest dancers will be featured in the May 11 matinee show, Schultz said.

Performances by the younger students were inspired by children’s books such as “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie,” with props to match.

“I think the hardest part was finding costumes,” Schultz said of the unique challenges to producing the show.

She said that their volunteers who spend countless hours working on costumes are invaluable to creating their productions.

Performances are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 10 and Saturday May 11; and a matinee at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 11, at the Kayhi Auditorium.

There also will be a taco bar dinner for purchase at 5:30 p.m., Friday in the Kayhi commons.

Tickets are available at www.ketchikan.dance, or at the KTB office, located at 400 Mission St., Suite 205.

For more information about the dinner or the Spring Gala performance, visit the KTB website or email staff at businessoffice@ketchikan.dance.