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A Spring in Their Step
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A diverse and energetic evening of dance hits the Lucas this Saturday night in Savannah Danse Theatre’s annual end-of-season performance.

The program includes choreography to the music of Chopin, Khatchaturian, Prokofiev, Tchaikovsky and Delibes, as well as to more modern influences such as Fatboy Slim and the Dixie Chicks.

 “We also have some guests coming in to do two pas de deux,” says SDT Artistic Director Suzanne Braddy.

Dancing the famed pas de deux from Romeo and Juliet will be Karen Burns and Serguei Chtyrkov. Caroline Bragg-Brennan and Ben Hankinson perform the “Peasant” pas de deux from Giselle.

“They’re spring-like, they’re light, and we thought they would fit in very nicely,” says Braddy of the two classic pieces.

In addition, the performance features two specially choreographed dances, “Tangelomango” by April Roe and Joanna Pitts, and “Right Here, Right Now” by Nikki Payne.

In a new development for SDT, members of the adult ballet class will perform a six-minute-plus dance called “Women,” to the tune of Carly Simon’s “Let the River Run.”

Kathleen Collins, who teaches the SDT adult class, says “Women” came about somewhat serendipitously.

“About four weeks ago, Sue said, ‘You’ve got such a great group of adults -- would they like to do something in the Spring show?’ I wasn’t sure at that point, because some people in class are fairly new dancers. But I had such a great response. We’ve got about a dozen that come regularly to class, and there was no hesitation on their part. Everyone’s really risen to the occasion.”

Collins’ adult class ranges in age from 16 to 50. Their dance is “more of a contemporary bent than strictly classical,” she says. “There’s lots of movement. It’s very energetic.”

The success of the SDT adult class has been something of a pleasant surprise for Braddy and Collins.

“It was slim pickings in the beginning, but word started to get out, and we started getting phone calls,” Collins says.

“But we’ve done so well that we might add another class next year,” she says. “In all my years of teaching I’ve never had a response like this. I’m just excited that adults are seeing ballet not only as great exercise but it’s fun. It’s creative.”

To get involved, call 897-2100.

Collins says taking up ballet at a later age doesn’t have to be difficult.

“At first it can be intimidating -- it’s a different language, it’s all in French. And people don’t walk turned out, they walk turned in,” she says.

“But I try to show people it’s not this big scary thing. Each class builds on the other. It’s all one connected thread.”

Braddy agrees, adding that, “It’s also important for the young kids. They need to see that it doesn’t matter what your age is, you need to keep moving.”


Savannah Danse Theatre presents “A Spring Showcase” Saturday, May 13, at 8 p.m. at the Lucas Theatre, 32 Abercorn St. Tickets are $15. Call 525-5050.