Page 1

Pointe to the

Midland Festival Ballet Newsletter

Volume XIX, No. 1 Spring 2013

Page 2 ...... Get Ready for BBQ and Ballet! Page 3 ...... Recognizing Ballet’s Seniors Page 4 ...... Stay Cool With Summer Classes

Photo Courtesy of Houston Ballet



Sunday, April 21, 2:30 p.m.


A Story of Love, Deceit And Forgiveness

Wagner-Noël Performing Arts Center

Guest Artists: Maria Mosina Alexei Tuykov

Photo Courtesy of Houston Ballet

It is autumn in the Rhineland. The leaves are turning. The grape harvest and the attendant celebrations have begun. Set against this perennial scene, a timeless story unfolds.

Giselle is the story of a peasant girl who falls in love with a nobleman, Albrecht, unaware that he is betrothed to another woman. Albrecht’s deception is revealed. Giselle, distraught, collapses and dies. As night descends on the village, the surrounding forest comes alive with the spirits of young girls jilted on their wedding days. These vengeful spirits, known as Wilis, have claimed the night as their own and will dance to death any man who happens upon them in the dark woods. As Albrecht kneels at Giselle’s grave to beg forgiveness, he is seized by the Wilis. He is condemned to die, but despite the pain she has suffered, Giselle protects him with her love. Forgiven, Albrecht lives to see the sun rising through the trees as Giselle and the Wilis disappear into the forest. Giselle presents three phases of love: the naïve, eager love of the young; the agony of ill-fated love; and finally the unconditional love that conquers all. Giselle is a role that combines all of these and so is one of the most coveted and dramatically challenging roles in the classical dance world. Midland Festival Ballet is so fortunate to have Maria Jordan Gomez designed Mosina from Colorado Ballet Giselle’s cottage for the set.

dancing the role. Her technical prowess and intensity are wonderfully suited to this demanding role. Giselle is the epitome of Romantic period ballet. The port de bras, carriage of the arms, is different than what is taught in a classroom setting. This requires dancers to embody a specific style and broaden their stylistic vocabulary. Creating a production that immerses the audience in the jubilation of the harvest, peril of the forest, and the radiance of that final sunrise is a technical challenge. To help set those scenes, MFB secured stunning and unique scenic drops, painted by George Verdak. Verdak was himself a dancer with the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo. Verdak curated a highly prized collection of historic Ballet Russe scenery and costumes including works by Salvador Dali and Henri Matisse. It is a rare treat to have Verdak’s work appear on the Midland stage this spring. MFB’s production of Giselle provided the opportunity to become acquainted with another scenic artist, Jordan Gomez. Gomez was tasked with designing Giselle’s peasant cottage and her haunted grave. Many set pieces are simply scrapped after the production closes, but MFB warehouses almost all of its production purchases and commissions them for use in the future. This presented Gomez with special challenges in design and construction. Gomez worked diligently to bring his practical and ingenious design to fruition. So much goes into presenting a full-length production. Sets, scenic drops, costumes, finely honed artistry and more are all necessary elements. MFB is pleased to be able to present all the aspects of this ballet to West Texas and hopes it can lead to future full-scale productions for area residents, young and old, to enjoy.

VILLAGERS Emily Abalos Autumn Adair Andrea Alshouse** Ba’Leigh Burns Rachel Hickman Rebecca McAdoo Ian Morris** Rachel Pannell Jayson Pescasio** Tyler Rhoads♦ Jennifer Runnfeldt Meghan Swain Grace Vaughn ALBRECHT Alexei Tyukov*

Cast for Giselle

WILFRED (his Squire) Edward McPherson BERTHE (Giselle’s Mother) Karen Scarcelli

W O W !

HILARION (a forester) Joseph Goodman

GISELLE Maria Mosina*

GISELLE’S FRIENDS Chloé Gomez Mikayla Padilla Hanna Pierce Zoe Segura Grace Weatherl Hannah Wineinger

BATHILDE (Albrecht’s Fiancée) Meredith Cozart

Peasant Pas de Deux Chloé Gomez Ian Morris**

MYRTHA Saki Yabumoto**

Photo Courtesy of

Chloé Gomez dances as Arabian in The Nutcracker.

The word is out...Midland Festival Ballet is sensational! Both performances of The Nutcracker were near sellouts at the Wagner Noël Performing Arts Center. In December, the following comment was received: “Wow, we are so blessed to have MFB in West Texas! Both shows were fantastic. I am very proud to be a part of MFB. Each time I see a show [it] makes me want to be a dancer in my living room. Thank you for all the hard work!” – James Parks, Midland Festival Ballet Board Member Additionally, we wish to thank all of our wonderful volunteers for their support and help. This production would not have been possible without each of you.

Myrtha’s Attendants Rachel Hickman Hanna Pierce

WILIS Emily Abalos Autumn Adair Andrea Alshouse** Ba’Leigh Burns Chloé Gomez Hannah Gutierrez Rebecca McAdoo Megan Rico Jennifer Runnfeldt Zoe Segura Rebekah Snell Meghan Swain Grace Vaughn Grace Weatherl

* Appearing courtesy of Colorado Ballet ** Appearing courtesy of Ballet San Antonio ♦ Appearing courtesy of Indiana University

Maria Mosina Featured Guest Artist

Alexei Tyukov Featured Guest Artist

Celebrate 20 Years With Bar-B-Que, Ballet

Dust off your dungarees, buff-shine those boots, and chassé on down to the historic Yucca Theater in downtown Midland at 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 7, for MFB’s 20th Anniversary Celebration. Surrounded by the Yucca’s colorful and unique Art Deco frescos, friends and supporters of MFB will be treated to an evening of dance as colorful and distinct as the architecture. And if that isn’t enough, the fabulous items up for auction, silent and live, ensure you will leave the Yucca with more than just culture. Catering by Colins Creek Barbecue promises a deliciously messy dinner for all in attendance. Sponsor tables start at $400 and include a commercial or well-wisher ad in the program as well as premium seating.

Library Collaboration

Midland Festival Ballet participated in the Midland County Library's Annual Open House on December 6. Edward McPherson and Meredith Cozart presented an educational and informative narration on the basics of ballet, starting with how costumes and pointe shoes are made. The two then demonstrated each movement of a warm up. The mini performance of "Mirlitons" from the The Nutcracker received lots of oohs and ahs. For as long as I've been involved with MFB, I learned several new things at this event! MFB truly does Bring the Beauty of Ballet to the Basin! – Phyllis N. Peek, Secretary Midland Festival Ballet Board of Directors

To the Pointe • Spring 2013 • Page 2

MISSION STATEMENT: The mission of Midland Festival Ballet is to promote and present the art of classical ballet through education, performance and outreach.

Company News

Opening Gala at RDA

Company dancers will be making the 10-hour trek to Fort Smith, Arkansas, this spring to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Regional Dance America/Southwest Region from Friday, April 5 – Tuesday, April 9. During the Festival, dancers will have the opportunity to take Master Classes from nationally acclaimed teachers. Dancers will also see other regional ballet companies perform and talk with peers about their dance experiences. It is RDA’s hope to advance and foster the growth and education of dancers, choreographers, directors and dance companies in every community in order to reach populations that may not be served by larger professional companies. Through RDA, these young dancers have access to quality dance performance and training opportunities as well. Adjudicator Lyn Wiltshire, Professor at University of Texas at Austin, selected “Agnus Dei,” a contemporary piece choreographed by Pearl Pierce, and “Great Scott” choreographed by Tom Paszik to represent Midland Festival Ballet. Both pieces will be performed locally at Blue Jeans, Bar-B-Que, & Ballet on Tuesday, May 7, at the Yucca Theatre. Special thanks to Rhonda Vaughn for coordinating the trip and to all the parent volunteers and chaperones for accompanying the dancers on the trip.

Hosting Auditions

Every summer, several company dancers travel to locations across the country to hone their technique, take class from world renowned teachers, and gain performance experience at various ballet intensives. This year, MFB was fortunate to host two national audition tours: On January 27, Thom Clower came for Burklyn Ballet Theatre and on February 15, Rolando Yanes came for Milwaukee Ballet. MFB is pleased to offer these opportunities to local dancers. Hannah Wineinger, left, Grace Vaughn and Zoe Segura share a laugh before the performance.

Lending a Hand

Photo Courtesy of Jordan Gomez and Chrissie Smolders

On President’s Day weekend, Midland Center was the place to be for anyone with a love of the performing arts. Janice Archer, Midland Opera Theater board member and Event Chair for Opera Downtown, brought together local talent to perform in support of Midland Opera Theater. It was a beautiful evening of song with dancing provided by Midland Festival Ballet’s company dancers. The event marked a rare occasion in Midland Festival Ballet history as artistic director Susan Clark choreographed a piece featuring company apprentice Hannah Wineinger. Other notable on-stage appearances were made by Stockton Ashley and Grace Weatherl, both younger MFB dancers. MFB can always be relied on to lend a hand (or foot!) to support Midland Opera Theatre.

Senior Recognition

Midland Festival Ballet would like to thank our graduating seniors for their years of dedication. Ba’Leigh Burns and Meghan Swain have worked hard and contributed much to the company. We wish them the best in their future endeavors and will honor them with a dinner on Saturday, May 25, to be held at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Burns.

BA’LEIGH BURNS is the 18-year-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth L. Burns and granddaughter of Mrs. Vera Jones. Miss Burns attends Trinity School where she participates in Senior Girls Club, sings in the Choir and serves as the Choir Events Coordinator. In 2011, her classmates elected her Junior Homecoming Princess. She has traveled in Italy and Greece on school sponsored trips, and attended the Presidential Inauguration this year in Washington D.C. Miss Burns studies voice and acoustic and electric guitar. She has also performed in Trinity musicals and recently became a member of the Pickwicks with Midland Community Theater. She began her training at the age of 3 and is a company member of Midland Festival Ballet. Her love of fundraising led her to organize a local fire relief donation program. Her efforts were recognized by the Permian Basin Area Foundation and Helping Hands. She volunteered for Vacation Bible School at St. Nicholas’ Episcopal Church, Bynum School, and Safe Place. Miss Burns plans to attend Texas Christian University and study archeology, psychology, or dance. MEGHAN BROOKE SWAIN is an 18-year-old senior at Midland High School. She enjoys dancing, traveling, laughing, and life. Miss Swain also loves little children and babysitting. During her sophomore year, she was a cheerleader for Midland High School and then returned to ballet to pursue her passion. Meghan first joined Midland Festival Ballet when she was 4 and has been dancing ever since. Miss Swain is also a member at Kelview Heights Baptist Church and involved with the youth group. For Miss Swain’s first year of college, she plans to attend Midland College and then go to a missionary school. Additionally, she plans to visit Africa soon and hopefully many more places around the world. Someday, she hopes to become a missionary.

To the Pointe • Spring 2013 • Page 3

School of MFB News

Summer Means ‘Cool’ Classes

As the temperature rises, stay cool at the School of Midland Festival Ballet as you learn technique, coordination, performance quality and so much more. It is an excellent place for children to develop their love of dance and gain exposure to ballet classics. Registration for summer programs is ongoing. Six weeks of summer classes are scheduled for the School of Midland Festival Ballet from Monday, June 3, through Thursday, July 18. The programs will include:

Rachel Hickman, left, follows directions from Susan Clark during one of last summer’s classes.

Spring Lecture Planned

Princess Camp (3 – 5 years old) Monday, June 3, through Thursday, June 6, from 9 to 10:30 a.m. ($60) Monday, June 10, through Thursday, June 13, from 9 to 10:30 a.m. ($60) Classical Ballet Camps (5 – 8 years old) The Nutcracker’s Magical Camp Monday, July 8, through Thursday, July 11, from 9 to 11 a.m. ($75) Swan Lake’s Mystical Camp Monday, July 15, through Thursday, July 18, from 9 to 11a.m. ($75) Summer Intensive Sessions Elementary to Intermediate (Ballet 1 and 2) Monday, July 8, through Thursday, July 18, from 1 to 4 p.m. ($180) Optional Friday Class. Intermediate to Advanced (Ballet 3 – 6) Monday, June 3, through Friday, June 28, from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. ($675) Optional Friday Class. Specific information will be available at the studio in March. For more information, please call the studio at 432.682.2653.

The School of Midland Festival Ballet will present this year’s Spring Lecture Demonstration on Saturday, May 25, at 5 p.m. at Midland High School Auditorium. Students will demonstrate the improvements they have made and how much the school has grown. More information will be available in the coming months.

Paige Ptak, left, and Caitlynn Cornwell practice for the demonstration.

Pilates: An Exercise to Fine Tune Your Body Everyone today seems to be trying to create a hybrid fitness regime that will attract the most people and the most money. For years, MFB has offered Pilates classes as a supplement to its dance offerings. MFB instructor Jennifer Runnfeldt sat down with MFB founding director and Pilates instructor Judy Coleman to get her take on the past, present, and future of getting fit in the 21st century. Q: Everyone knows Pilates is good for the body, but why do you teach it to our dancers? A: Pilates trains dancers to isolate parts of their body that they have to use to achieve strong ballet technique and to prevent injuries. Pilates develops strength and flexibility for jumping, turns, petite allegro, grande allegro and adagio movements. Ballet technique requires the use of a turnout position from the hips. Pilates exercises can help a dancer strengthen turnout and abdominal (the core) muscles to support the demands that being a dancer requires of the body. Q: When did you take your first Pilates class? A: I started taking Pilates in 1979 when a New York City orthopedist recommended the Carola Trier Studio to help me recover from the pain I had in my knee. I knew nothing of Pilates or what I was in for. It changed my life and the way I looked at my body and training. At Carola's, I learned that I had an alignment problem. I would have to correct the way I worked in a ballet class. I would have to learn to work more efficiently if I wanted to continue dancing without pain. Basically, I had to retrain my body to work a different way. During this time, I decided I wanted to learn the work that Ms. Trier taught in her

studio. Ms. Trier studied under Joseph Pilates and I became an apprentice to her. Q: What are some helpful hints for people taking a fitness class that is new to them? A: Relax! Breathe! Tensing up or forcing your body into a position means you are not working efficiently! The result will eventually be injury. It is not so much what you do but how you do it. Q: Pilates has changed a lot since its development by Joseph Pilates. Do you like the direction it’s taking? A: Over the last 30 years, Pilates has changed due to additions from various physical therapists and fitness instructors and, literally, Pilates exercising has become a "Pilates Craze!" The exercises created by Joseph Pilates from his gymnastic training in Germany follow an order, not unlike a ballet class. In an effort to adhere to trends, Pilates training is straying from its original focus. When I was a Pilates instructor under Carola, we worked with clients individually until they could learn the exercises and work on their own. The clients were watched very carefully so they would not hurt themselves. This is why students should not learn from exercise videos. Doing something new with your body requires supervision. MFB encourages consistent attendance to any dance or fitness class. This allows the instructor to become acquainted with your body’s individual needs. Coleman is well-known for her highly personal approach to teaching and her wealth of kinesthetic knowledge. MFB is very fortunate to have such an experienced and conscientious instructor in Judy Coleman!

To the Pointe • Spring 2013 • Page 4

Business of Ballet

Midland Festival Ballet 2012-2013 Sponsors Soloist

Prima Ballerina Assoluta

Arts Council of Midland FMH Foundation Mr. and Mrs. Harris Kerr Mr. and Mrs. Paul Lerwick Rea Charitable Trust

Prima Ballerina

Community National Bank Milagros Foundation Wayne and JoAnn Moore Foundation

Danseur Noble

Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Burns John and Maurine Cox Foundation Mr. and Mrs. Larry Foster Mr. and Mrs. Reed Gilmore Midland Reporter-Telegram

Premier Danseur

Abell-Hanger Foundation Aimee Valenzuela Hernandez, LLC. Mr. and Mrs. Jack E. Brown EOG Resources, Inc. (Matching) Mr. Jack Hickman and Mrs. Shelley Wright Mr. and Mrs. Jackie Matthews Michaels Flowers Mr. and Mrs. Larry Mills Permian Abstract Company The Prairie Foundation Mrs. Cy Wagner, Jr. Mr. and Mrs. J. B. Whatley

Anonymous Mr. Orand Carroll Mrs. Mary de Compiegne Mrs. Margaret Cowden Mr. and Mrs. Don Judson Mr. and Mrs. Larry Pitts Mr. and Mrs. Jon Snell Mr. and Mrs. Jim Snodderly Mr. and Mrs. Steve Spyres Supero Oil and Gas, Inc. Mr. and Mrs. Don Tomlin Mr. and Mrs. David Vaughn Warrior Exploration, LLC Mr. and Mrs. Steve Weatherl Mr. and Mrs. Noah Wempe


Mr. and Mrs. Steve Ashley Mr. and Mrs. Damian Barrett Chaparral Bolt & Supply Cotton, Bledsoe, Tighe and Dawson Mr. and Mrs. Norbert Dickman Mr. and Mrs. Randy Ford Mr. and Mrs. Dallas Frazier Dr. and Mrs. Keith Graumann Mr. and Mrs. Dan Hart Mr. and Mrs. James C. Henry Ms. Helen Joan Holt Mr. and Mrs. Gaylon Howard Dr. and Mrs. Thomas A. Hyde, Sr. Junior League of Midland, Inc. Mr. and Mrs. Austin Keith Mr. and Mrs. Bill McCullough

Katy and Paul Morrow Mr. Edward McPherson Ms. Pat Shaw Mr. and Mrs. Ben Shepperd Mr. and Mrs. Jamie Small Ms. Carolyn Sutton Mr. and Mrs. Mark Wooldridge Mr. and Mrs. Jerry Zant

Corps de Ballet

Mr. and Mrs. Gregory Berkhouse Chevron (Matching) Mr. and Mrs. Ken Borgen Mr. and Mrs. Bill Brown Mr. and Mrs. Kevin Brunner Ms. Mary Lou Cassidy Mr. and Mrs. George Clark Ms. Jaclyn F. Comola Mr. and Mrs. Ed Delgado DoubleTree by Hilton Mr. and Mrs. Timothy Eason Russell L. Freeman, Inc. Mr. and Mrs. Frank Gomez Ms. Elizabeth A. Greaves Mr. and Mrs. Kevin Hickey Mr. and Mrs. Jay Hobbs Mr. and Mrs. Bryan Johnston Mr. and Mrs. Jeffery Johnston Mr. and Mrs. David Kleinbeck Legacy Real Estate Ms. Elizabeth Melson Mr. and Mrs. Brian K. Middlebrook Mr. and Mrs. Zahir Noormohamed Mr. and Mrs. Jim Pannell

Mr. and Mrs. Mike Peek Mr. and Mrs. Charles Jean Rico Ms. Cynthia and Sarana Savage Mr. Charles Seltzer Ms. Margaret L. Simmons Mr. and Mrs. Mark Singh Mr. and Mrs. Gregory Smith Rev. and Mrs. Jon Stasney Ms. Bonnie Stewart Sylvan Learning Center Dr. and Mrs. Eric Venegas Western National Bank Mr. and Mrs. Todd Williams Ms. Ashley G. Wineinger Mr. and Mrs. Ed Zachary


Mr. and Mrs. Billy Bryant Mr. and Mrs. Terry Cook Mrs. Flo Curry Mr. and Mrs. Earl Freeman Mr. and Mrs. Michael Grella Ms. Mary S. Hickman Ms. Pamela Holleman Mr. and Mrs. Carl Leonard, Jr. Ms. Karen Mason Mr. and Mrs. Bruce McAdoo Ms. Stacy Peterson Ms. Jo Swallow Mr. and Mrs. Jim West

As of March 25, 2013

For Sponsorship information, please call 432-686-0071 or visit the MFB website at


President Reed Gilmore Immediate Past President David Kleinbeck Secretary Phyllis Peek/Susan Zachary Treasurer David Vaughn First Vice President James Parks Second Vice President Carl Moore


Artistic Director Susan Clark Founding Artistic Director Judy Coleman Business Manager Edward McPherson Marketing/PR Jennifer Runnfeldt

2012-2013 Board of Directors DIRECTORS

Brandy Ford Frank Gomez Jack Hickman Robbyne Hocker-Fuller Jessica Lawrence Ken Matticks Beth Qualia Violet Singh Debra Weatherl Lorri West Tricia Wooldridge, CPA

ADVISORY COMMITTEE Danny Holeva, Arts Council of Midland Deb Shaw, MISD Fine Arts Program

Past Honorary Sponsor Chairs Frances Brown Andrea and Richard Catania John Chapman Mary de Compiegne The Late Mrs. Robert D. Fitting The Late Harriet Herd Patty Herd Joanie Holt Paul and Judy Lerwick Dr. Tulsi Singh

Meeting Times Meetings for the 2012-2013 season are scheduled at 8 p.m. the fourth Monday (except December) in the Community Room at Junior League of Midland, Inc. headquarters, 902 W. Dengar Ave. MFB Executive Committee meetings are scheduled at 12 noon the second Tuesday of each month, except December, in the MFB office at 401 N. Big Spring St., Suite 510.

Phone number for the MFB office is HONORARY DIRECTORS (432)686-0071. Send e-mail to: John Chapman Lael Cordes-Pitts Tatum Hubbard Harris Kerr Judith Lerwick Bill McCullough For up-to-date information on MFB activities: School Steve McLaughlin of MFB, company, performances, “like” us on Joy Payton Facebook – Midland Festival Ballet (Non-Profit Carolyn Sutton Organization). Bill Warren To the Pointe • Spring 2013 • Page 5

Non-Profit Org. U.S. Postage PAID Midland, TX 79701 Permit No. 148

P.O. Box 52034 Midland, TX 79710



A story of love, deceit and forgiveness

For Individual or Group Tickets, Call the Wagner-Noël Box Office 432.552.4430 Or go online to Adults: $25 Children/Students/Seniors: $20 Groups of 15 or more receive a $2 discount per ticket

Sunday, April 21 2:30 p.m.

Wagner-Noël Performing Arts Center

(Intersection of Highways 191 and 1788)

Featuring Guest Artists Maria Mosina Alexei Tyukov

Accompanied by the Midland-Odessa Symphony & Chorale

Underwritten by the FMH Foundation

Photo Courtesy of Houston Ballet

Spring 2013  

Midland Festival Ballet's "To the Pointe" Newsletter - Spring 2013