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Oak Harbor High School becomes a Wonderland

(Center) Ellen Peterson as Alice, (L-R around Alice) Mara Powers as the White Rabbit, Samantha Wells as a Chess Piece, Alicia Breilein as the Butterfly, Hannah Peterson as Alice’s Sister  - Courtesy photo
(Center) Ellen Peterson as Alice, (L-R around Alice) Mara Powers as the White Rabbit, Samantha Wells as a Chess Piece, Alicia Breilein as the Butterfly, Hannah Peterson as Alice’s Sister
— image credit: Courtesy photo

By River Powers

Special to the News-Times

What would spring be without the annual performance by The Ballet Slipper? Once again, this year’s production, “Alice in Wonderland,” will mesmerize audiences with exquisite dancing, rich and colorful costumes, and extraordinary choreography.

Mark your calendar to attend one of the three performances at the Oak Harbor High School Student Union Building: Saturday, June 19 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, June 20 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at Fresh Vitamins, 751 NE Midway Blvd., Oak Harbor. Call 929-5828 for information.

The production, choreographed by The Ballet Slipper owner, Diane Geragotelis, most closely follows the traditional story line of Alice in Wonderland rather than the Disney version.

The depth and breadth of Geragotelis’s productions is partially due to her unparalleled use of dancers in multiple roles. As she intricately weaves the story with fabulous choreography, Geragotelis organizes her production to allow her more experienced ballerinas to appear in dances spaced just far enough apart to accommodate for the fast and furious costume changes necessary to ensure their presence on stage when required.

Enchanting yet practical, all of the production’s costumes are designed and created by Geragotelis and are perfectly suited for the dancers as they twirl and leap their way through the story.

The dances throughout the performance feature ballerinas in all levels of The Ballet Slipper classes, with students ranging in age from 4 years to adult. Ellen Peterson (12) will delight audiences with her ethereal dancing as she perfectly portrays the lovely young Alice, while her real-life sister, Hannah Peterson (16), portrays her sister on stage. Hannah, along with other lead dancers Elyse Anderson (15), Alicia Breilein (16), Caytie Matthews (16), Chloe Peterschmidt (16), Mara Powers (11), Gigi Slais (17), and Samantha Wells (16), will appear en pointe in the stunning dances of the Chess Pieces, Red Roses, Flamingos, and Cards. Kumi Kosbar joins these girls for the Flamingos dance.

Viewers will be thoroughly entertained by bright and cheerful dodo birds, classic and charming Wonderland characters, beautiful flowers, and adorable sweet peas.

In all, 59 dancers will appear on stage to help Geragotelis bring her version of the classic story, Alice in Wonderland, to life.

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