Young preprofessional dancers from Oregon Ballet Theatre 2 present a mix of classical and contemporary work

People of all ages will get to see a "truly unique, up-close and intimate event" when Oregon Ballet SUBMITTED PHOTO - Spectators surround the stage at the Milwaukie Center as Kenzie Brousson dances a solo at last years OBT 2 performance.Theatre 2 brings a group of young dancers to the Milwaukie Center at 6:30 p.m. Friday, May 18, said Tina Johnson, the center's recreation coordinator.

"People of all ages will get a taste of ballet and really appreciate the gracefulness, the choreography and the music" without having to drive to downtown Portland, she said, adding that the $3 suggested donation makes the event affordable.

OBT2 performed last year at the Milwaukie Center, and people were impressed with the quality of the dancing, choreography and costumes, Johnson said.

She said Lisa Sundstrom, OBT program director, interviews some of the dancers between acts, which gives the audience a connection to the performers.

SUBMITTED PHOTO - Daniel Salinas and Kenzie Brousson dance to music from 'Coppelia,' during last year's OBT 2 performance at the Milwaukie Center.Exposure to dance

This year, the dancers will perform to "Faust," by Charles-François Gounod, "Clair de Lune," by Claude Debussy, and pieces by Marius Petipa, Sundstrom said.

Dancers also may perform a new contemporary work choreographed by a dancer in the company that features a fusion of modern dance and neo-ballet.

It is important to bring dancers to venues like the Milwaukie Center to expose more people to dance, Sundstrom said.

"We like to reach out to different groups, like schools and senior facilities, because it may inspire them to come see more."


The dancers in Oregon Ballet Theatre 2 range in age from 18 to 22 and come to Portland from all over the United States, Sundstrom said.

"This is a rigorous program for dancers who want to become professionals. They work alongside the professionals in the main company, and they get personal attention and training," she said.

PHOTO BY YI YIN - Aubrey Kazimi, a member of Oregon Ballet Theatre 2.The young dancers perform 20 to 25 shows a year like the upcoming one at the Milwaukie Center, in addition to performing with the professional dancers in the main company.

Why should people should attend the event?

"They will see a professional-level performance of both classical and contemporary dance in a more intimate setting," Sundstrom said.


What: Young preprofessional dancers from Oregon Ballet Theatre 2 present a mix of classical and contemporary work

When: 6:30 p.m. Friday, May 18

Where: The Milwaukie Center, 5440 S.E. Kellogg Creek PHOTOS BY YI YIN - Ensemble in the School of Oregon Ballet Theatre performance of 'Coppelia.'Drive

More: Meet the performers and have photos taken after the show.

Cost: A $3 donation is suggested. All proceeds benefit OBT2 and scholarships for classes at the Milwaukie Center.

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