words and photos by Kristina Aiad-Toss
For the last 40 years, the young dancers of Ballet Excel Ohio have performed original works at the Akron Civic Theater. This year, the classically trained male and female dancers are continuing the tradition with performances of The Magic Flute on March 10 and 11.
A traditional opera by Mozart, The Magic Flute is about Tamino, a young prince who enters a quest to win the hand of the princess. Tamino receives a magic flute to complete the quest to find her.
Erich Yetter, a dance professor at Case Western University who was classically trained in the Houston Ballet is the choreographer of their most recent production.
Like Yetter, nationally known choreographers travel to Cuyahoga Falls to work with Ballet Excel Ohio’s dancers on two to four repertory pieces each year. Past notable productions have included The Little Mermaid, Madeline at the Circus, and Beauty and the Beast.
Formerly known as Cuyahoga Valley Youth Ballet, the pre-professional dance company mentors around forty dancers ages 8 to 18. They perform original works under the artistic direction of Mia Klinger, who is a founding member of the dance company.
The dancers receive professional-level training, which includes working with choreographers throughout Ohio and across the country. Since its founding in 1975, the ballet has brought professional quality and original youth dance performances to audiences throughout Ohio.
One outreach program is called “Ballet Excel Ohio on Tour,” which promotes arts awareness by bringing performances to local schools, libraries, and civic venues. Another program called “Reach Out and Dance,” connects professional Broadway style dance and voice instructors and painists with local 4th grade classrooms, who mentor them on an end-of-the-year school performance.
Through the “Community Tickets Program,” Ballet Excel Ohio partners with over 30 local organization to give free tickets to families who might otherwise be unable to attend their annual performances at the Akron Civic Theatre.
Tickets for The Magic Flute can be purchased directly through the Akron Civic Theatre Box Office or on Ticketmaster. For more information on future performances visit balletexcelohio.org.
The Magic Flute
Akron Civic Theatre
Saturday March 10, 2018 @ 2pm, 7pm
Sunday March 11, 2018 @ 2pm
General Admission: $10