Chautauqua Regional Youth Ballet to present annual FES performance

The Chautauqua Regional Youth Ballet performs at 7 p.m. tonight in Elizabeth S. Lenna Hall. (provided photo)

The Chautauqua Regional Youth Ballet performs at 7 p.m. tonight in Elizabeth S. Lenna Hall. (provided photo)

Audiences might remember a few young dancers from the Chautauqua Regional Youth Ballet who made a special appearance during this season’s opera performances of Macbeth and Eugene Onegin. Those dancers — and several more from CRYB — are returning to the Institution, this time performing their own repertoire.

CRYB will perform as part of the Family Entertainment Series at 7 p.m. tonight in Elizabeth S. Lenna Hall.

CRYB has performed at Chautauqua Institution every summer for more than 15 years. This year’s performance will feature a variety of styles of dance from modern to classical ballet.

“If you only show one type of dance, people might not be as interested,” said CRYB Artistic Director Monika Alch. “For this type of educational concert, I thought it would be best to show a variety of styles.”

Students ages 9 to 19 will perform in six pieces during this evening’s performance.

“Cull” is a modern dance work choreographed by Michael Cerwinski, director of the modern dance company MichaelJamesNewYork. It was set on CRYB students during a January workshop and made possible through funding from the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation.

“Four Little Swans” is an excerpt from Swan Lake danced by four girls. Swan Lake is the story of a princess who is turned into a swan by an evil sorcerer. The well-known piece requires synchronization and precision by all performers.

“Red Violin Suite,” set to music by John Corigliano, and “Woodland Fairies,” set to music by Bach, were both choreographed by former CRYB student Brittany Bush. Bush now dances for the José Mateo Ballet in Boston.

“ ‘Woodland Fairies’ is a pure, classical piece,” Alch said.

CRYB will also be performing excerpts from Sylvia, a classical ballet about a huntress nymph in a woodland forest.

Madeline Jones, a student at CRYB, will perform “Letzter Tag,” a contemporary ballet solo to music by Herbert Grönemeyer. This is her final performance with CRYB, as she leaves this fall to continue her dance studies at the Conservatory of Dance at Purchase College.

“That was a great experience because it was the first time they got to work with a conductor and live orchestra,” Jones said. “It’s a more professional experience.”

Performing at Chautauqua each year is a great opportunity for Alch’s students to gain more professional dance experience, she said. CRYB performs The Nutcracker each winter and presents a Spring Gala performance but the Chautauqua performance is one of the only performances the school does during the summer.

“The more the students perform, the better,” she said. “There are not as many opportunities in this area to perform.”