Why would the soccer player/slalom skier/sport-enthusiast roommate want to go to a ballet or even listen to classical music for three hours? I went because I knew it was important to support my roommates in their senior year production of The Nutcracker. What were my expectations? Lots of frilly tutus (SICK!), some jumping, some spinning, some music and not a lot of “action” in the three-hour performance for starters. YAWN.
Luckily I was pleasantly surprised with the entire ballet experience. Clowes is an incredible venue and I was astonished at the atmosphere it provided for the ballet. Once the show started, I found myself escaping reality and becoming enthralled in the plot and excitement of the show. Although there wasn’t any dialogue, I still understood the dynamics of the characters on stage. I even audibly laughed with the rest of the audience watching my roommate (the Columbine doll) stop in the middle of a dance and need to be wound up by a fellow toy. Butler Ballet’s interpretation of The Nutcracker proved to discredit all my stereotypes and assumptions about ballet and student performances.
Butler Ballet is not your standard student performance. You have to keep in mind that Butler is one of the top three dance performance schools in the country and most Butler dancers will be dancing at a professional company in the next few years.
After the December performance I attended, I’m really excited to see Butler Ballet’s production of Sleeping Beauty this weekend. I know you may think Disney’s cartoon movie of Sleeping Beauty is good enough you, but I’m confident this will exceed even Disney’s standards. Like the Disney plot, the ballet tells the story of Princess Aurora, who is put to sleep by the work of an evil fairy and woken by Prince’s kiss. Unlike the movie, however, the three-act ballet will feature choreography by Marius Petipa and danced by Butler University’s 120-student dance department.
Show times are 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $21.50-$28.50 for adults, $17-$23 for children, students and seniors, and $14-$20 for groups of 15 or more. A $2 renovation fee is added to all tickets. You can avoid the box office by purchasing tickets online.
I also have some insider information about the performance. Not only have I seen my roommates coming home late after hours and hours of rehearsal and know they have been working hard to make the show perfect, but this is the last time the Butler ballet seniors will be dancing at Clowes. Although I don’t know what it is like to dance for the last time, I do know what it’s like to play in a championship game and leave everything you have on the field. As a culmination of the last for years of practice and rehearsals, ups and downs, sweat and tears, the Butler Ballet seniors will leave everything they have on the Clowes Memorial Hall stage this weekend.