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Category: Ballet


The Jo Emery dance show “Dances with Dancers” features dads, uncles and even a mom alongside young ballet aspirants at Tacoma’s Metro Parks Star Center

Mom Heidi Wachter and daughter Katherine Ann (left); dad Roby Howard and daughter Braylen, performing in "Dances with Dancers" this Saturday. Photo: Thomas Kimpel.
Mom Heidi Wachter and daughter Katherine Ann (left); dad Roby Howard and daughter Braylen, performing in “Dances with Dancers” this Saturday. Photo: Thomas Kimpel.

This is the time of year for showing off what your kids have been learning all year. Violin recitals, band concerts, circus shows – and of course dance recitals. The Jo Emery Ballet School, just off South Tacoma Way, has been offering their annual student showcase every year for decades, but lately there’s been something unusual about it: It doesn’t just feature kids. No, the moms, dads, and grandparents are getting in on the act too. And there’s another new thing – the show is moving from the Pantages to the new Metro Parks Star Center this Saturday.

“This year’s ‘Dances with Dancers’ features 21 dancing dads, uncles or grandfathers, and one dancing mom, performing in two separate dances alongside their children,” says founding director Jo Emery, who has been encouraging adults to dance with their kids for awhile now to honor Father’s Day, happening this Sunday.

One of the most interesting parents, says Emery, is commercial fisherman Roby Howard, who was so committed and missed dancing so much when he had to sail to Alaska that he the boat and returned to dance with daughter Braylen, Emery says. Read more »


Tacoma City Ballet’s “Storybook Ballet Theater” entrances kids with live fairy-tale ballet

It’s one of Tacoma City Ballet’s most popular dance events: the “Storybook Ballet Theatre,” now in it’s second year. Company dancers entrance kids (and their grown-ups) with ballet renditions of fairy-tales, rhymes, limericks and other stories both this weekend and next. Guests are encouraged to come in their favorite storybook costume.

New this year is the Fairy Tale Tea Party, at 10:30 a.m., 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. this Saturday May 11, featuring the performance viewed from the setting of a formal hosted English tea. Tickets are $10-$15, but are nearly sold out.

“Storybook Ballet Theatre” performances run 1 p.m., 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. May 18; 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. May 19. Tickets $5. Merlino Building, 508 6th Ave., Tacoma. 253-272-4219, tacomacityballet.com

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Four free dance shows by Dance Theatre Northwest bring arts education to Tacoma schools over the next few weeks.

Katie Neumann and Chhay Mam in "Swan LAke." Photo: Maks Zhakarov.
Katie Neumann and Chhay Mam in “Swan LAke.” Photo: Maks Zhakarov.

It’s a rare school that still has the budget for dance education – which is why four upcoming outreach concerts by Dance Theatre Northwest will have such an impact. The ballet school is offering free performances at three Tacoma schools (and one senior living facility) over the next few weeks with the goal of educating students about performing arts through live dance, including excerpt from “Swan Lake.”

From the press release: “Arts education budgets have been cut in most of our area schools and this type of quality educational programming is intended to help keep the arts alive in our schools and in the hearts and minds of our youth.”

Pointing out that a rich arts education helps kids get better grades and stay in school, DTNW director Melanie Kirk-Stauffer says that at previous performances, “students and staff who have had this opportunity to view a live dance performance and be able to interact with DTNW artists have been awestruck. For many,” she says in the release, “it was their first such experience.” Read more »


Ballet, art, music, film and fun all meet at Tacoma City Ballet’s 10th Mid-Winter Masquerade Ball Soirée, Saturday night at the Merlino Building

Masks by Tacoma City Ballet director Erin Ceragioli for the TCB Mid-Winter Masquerade Ball this Saturday. Courtesy photo.
Masks by Tacoma City Ballet director Erin Ceragioli for the TCB Mid-Winter Masquerade Ball this Saturday. Courtesy photo.

The Jan Collum Ballroom in the historic Merlino Building is perfect for a party: a sweeping balcony, gold Art Deco molding, the exotic whiff of ballet resin in the air. So that’s exactly what Tacoma City Ballet does every six months or so – transform its main rehearsal space into an elegant party scene filled with dance, music, fine art, film and food. On this Saturday, the next soirée has an added bit of fun: a masquerade ball.

Along with work by local photographers like Bill Hinsee, Jessie Felix, Denise Knudson and Scott Nelson, films by Ellington Tynes, poetry by Sandra King and original choreography by TCB’s Erin Ceragioli, Travis Goldman and Joel Myers, there’ll be live music by Touché: Eclectic Quintet, and guests are encouraged to dress up with masks.

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Tacoma City Ballet starts search for Krakatuk in advance of their new “Nutcracker” prequel this December – find your nut now

krakatukTacoma City Ballet is finally doing a different “Nutcracker” – and it’s starting now. Not the ballet itself, which will be a locally-choreographed prequel to the familiar story of Clara and the magic nutcracker-Prince who takes her to a fantastical land of sweets. No, what’s happening now is a challenge to search local businesses to find the nut itself, which TCB director Erin Ceragioli calls “Krakatuk” and which (temporarily) exists in physical form for lucky readers to find for prizes.

After 15 years of faithfully recreating as close to the original Russian “Nutcracker” as she could, Ceragioli is now creating her own story. Opening on Dec. 7, 2013, the prequel involves a beautiful princess under a curse by the evil Mouse Queen, a curse which must be broken by the magical Krakatuk Nut and whoever cracks it.

To stir up interest, Ceragioli has hand-made several gold-painted nuts in jeweled cases, and will hide them each month at a different business in downtown Tacoma. If you find one, you keep it, plus additional prizes such as ballet tickets or merchandise. Read more »


Sultry summer ballet: Tacoma City Ballet kicks off the season with a lushly-decorated art soirée

Last year's Summer Soirée at Tacoma City Ballet. Courtesy photo.

Sultry Summer Night Soirée, the kickoff for Tacoma City Ballet’s 2012-2013 performing season, will feature Corina Bakery cupcakes and Wingman Brewers beer this Saturday, July 21. TCB will transform its historic ballroom and studio spaces into a sultan’s tent filled with visual and literary arts, music, dance and film.

For just $10, attendees can mingle with artists or watch performances throughout the evening, as well as enjoy free snacks. There’ll also be additional food and drinks for purchase. One studio space will house a screening room for short films. Another will feature a room-sized art installation. Read more »


Congratulations to local Metropolitan Ballet and Jo Emery School dancers and artist Mark Larson on scholarships, study and international exhibition

Congratulations are in order to local dancers on scholarships and summer school placements won, as well as artist Mark Larson for inclusion in an international exhibition at Chianciano Art Museum in Tuscany, Italy. The dancers come from the Metropolitan Ballet and Jo Emery dance schools in Tacoma

Metropolitan Ballet student Anna Krumpos has won a $100,000 scholarship to study at the Alonzo King Lines Ballet BFA program at the Dominican University, as well as a scholarship for the dance program at the University of Arizona. Student Naquoia Bautista has been offered a full scholarship to the summer intensive

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Metropolitan Ballet of Tacoma holds second annual Community Dance-a-Thon

Following the success of last year’s inaugural Community Dance-a-Thon, Metropolitan Ballet of Tacoma will hold the second annual fundraiser this Saturday at its studios. The 12-hour event offers community dance classes, including African dance, musical theater, modern, classical and Pilates.

Class participants ask friends and family to sponsor them per class taken, with all proceeds benefiting MBT; at the end at Grand Finale Dance Party will showcase all dancers for the sponsors.

According to the press release, the goal of the Dance-a-Thon is to gather professionals and students in a wide range of dance forms on the same day

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