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The Earth may be just a speck in the vast Milky Way we call our galactic home, but the young dancers of the Newtown Centre of Classical Ballet & Voice delivered a planetary performance as brilliant as the stars in the night sky when they visited Middle Gate Elementary School on Monday, March 5.
Twenty-two dancers, ages 10 to 18, showcased their choreography and knowledge of our solar system’s planets with eight specially designed dances.
Newtown Centre of Classical Ballet & Voice Director Tory Gozzi said her students always look forward to performing for their younger peers and that “This year was special, because the students led the way with all the costuming and science/music research and choreography — I was very impressed with what they put together.”
Ms Gozzi moderated the event and spoke to the Middle Gate students in the audience about how the planets are named after different gods in Roman mythology.
She asked students if they knew the sequence of the planets from the sun, to which participants raised their hands and perfectly listed the order: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune.
The event’s first dance signified the god Mercury, who is known for transporting messages. Dancer Taegan Smith represented Mercury, using quick movements to symbolize the speed of a traveling message.
The next orbiting planet around the sun is Venus, who Ms Gozzi explained, is the Roman god of love, beauty, grace, and peace. To showcase those qualities, soft music played as Julia Finegan, who represented Venus, danced.
Moving past Earth, Mars’ dance was next in line and was portrayed by Annie Fowler. Since Mars is known as the god of war, the dance depicted the destruction of a city, which was then rebuilt.
When Ms Gozzi asked the Middle Gate students what they knew about Jupiter, known as the king of the gods in Roman mythology, a young member of the audience said that the planet has the Great Red Spot. The region on the planet is seen as red due to its powerful thunder and lightning storms, so dancer Arline Almeter incorporated quick, energetic turns into the routine.
Slow music played for the Saturn performance to adhere to it being the god of time. Fallyn Kirlin represented Saturn and the 12 younger dancers who accompanied her acted like the 12 numbers on a ticking clock.
The following dance was for the light blue planet Uranus, portrayed by Chelsea Fowler. Ms Gozzi explained that nontraditional movements were used in the choreography to represent the eccentricity of the planet.
Dancer Kylee Raiano represented the last planet of the performance, Neptune. Since Neptune is known as the god of the sea in Roman mythology, Kylee’s outfit contained shades of blue and green.
For the final routine, all the dancers who represented the planets danced together creating a celestial phenomenon.
The Newtown Centre of Classical Ballet & Voice also traveled to Hawley Elementary School earlier in the day to perform the show, and did a special performance at the Edmond Town Hall the following day.