Portland Ballet shows feature two dancers from Cornelius
After last year's sold-out shows, The Portland Ballet is reviving its holiday hit, "The Enchanted Toyshop," this Thanksgiving weekend in a double bill that will also feature a new ballet, "Tourbillon," by co-artistic director Anne Mueller.
The Portland State University Orchestra, under the direction of Ken Selden, will provide live music for both works.
Two Cornelius residents, Davis Petersen and Harumi Buchholz, will be showcasing their talents and performing in the show this year.
Petersen, 18, a senior at Forest Grove High School, will be dancing lead roles in both ballets. He been studying ballet for five years and has participated in summer programs at Cornish College of the Arts, Joffrey New York and The Portland Ballet.
He previously participated in the Cornelius City Youth Council, Forest Grove Dance Arts dance competition team, Vik Crew at FGHS and band.
"It's been great working with the Portland Ballet — there's been lots of rehearsals, going over technique; it's a solid work experience," said Petersen. "It's all a good setup and it's been rewarding so far."
Buchholz, 14, who is in ninth grade at Indiana University Online High School, has been studying ballet for 12 years, and has participated in summer programs at School of Oregon Ballet Theatre, American Ballet Theatre and The Portland Ballet.
Both Buchholz and Petersen have trained with Forest Grove Dance Arts, performed in "The Nutcracker," and are currently in the Portland Ballet's Career Track program for pre-professionals.
"I like it. It's been really cool to see different pieces we've been working on come together," said Buchholz. "It's also crazy to see how much I've improved."
The story for "The Enchanted Toyshop" begins when two children are accidentally locked in a toyshop — Pinocchio reigns over a parade of toys that come to life to entertain the guests.
Romping cards, poodles, Pierrots and Russian nesting dolls are all part of the fast-paced fun, and the full cast features 75 dancers and 38 musicians from all over the Portland and Vancouver areas.
Mueller's celebratory new "Tourbillon" will showcase 27 advanced dancers in four pieces set to rarely heard music by Joseph Lanner, an Austrian dance composer from the early 1800s who helped spark the popularity of the waltz.
"I want everyone to see how much work we've put into these performance — to see something incredible," said Buchholz. "I've always liked ballet, and I watch professionals and get inspired, and that helps me to continue to work hard."
"I think this is a unique opportunity to show people what ballet is. Not a ton of people know how rigorous and hard it can be," said Petersen. "There's this push and pull dynamic it has that is unlike anything else."
Six concerts will be performed between Nov. 24 and 26 at the Lincoln Performance Hall at Portland State University.
Friday and Saturday will feature performances at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. The two shows on Sunday will begin at 1 and 5 p.m.
For more information on ticket prices and purchases, visit www.theportlandballet.org or call 503-750-3157.