Santa Monica, California
Phone: (310) 828-2018
Performances showcase the stars of tomorrow including Westside Ballet’s own Shelby Tzung who was the 2016 Spotlight Awards Grand Prize winner in classical ballet.
On Sunday, May 8th, 2016, Westside Ballet of Santa Monica presented a mixed program highlighting excerpts from two of the world’s most beloved ballets, Swan Lake and Giselle, and reviving August Bournonville’s spirited variations from Napoli.
Performing the Odette solo in the matinée was Westside Ballet dancer Shelby Tzung, recently awarded the prestigious 2016 Spotlight Awards Grand Prize in Classical Ballet. Ms. Tzung trained exclusively at Westside School of Ballet, spending her summers as a scholarship student at the School of American Ballet. In addition to Odette, Ms. Tzung was also featured in Napoli and performed another of her Spotlight Award-winning solos from Frederic Ashton’s famous ballet, La Fille Mal Gardée.
Featured pieces also included Balanchine’s famous comedic pas de deux, Harlequinade, first created and performed in 1952 by New York City Ballet with music by Drigo (presented with permission from the Balanchine Trust©).
Long-time resident choreographer and teacher Sophie Monat created a fiery new contemporary ballet, Lift, to rapturous music by John Adams.
Westside’s younger ballerinas performed Ecossaises with music by Beethoven and choreography by Westside Ballet’s founder, Yvonne Mounsey, whose original creations remain a storied part of the company’s rich repertoire. Our youngest dancers took the stage in Associate Artistic Director Caprice Walker’s charming ballet, Mozartiana, with music by Mozart.
By popular demand, the program concluded with the return of Sweet Charity, the sensational Bob Fosse jazz piece choreographed and adapted by Westside’s own jazz director Michele Bachar.
An abbreviated, educational presentation was planned for Friday, May 6, to be performed for 5th graders from the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School district.
Each year, Westside Ballet of Santa Monica provides invaluable performing experiences for our students in a wide variety of ballets, allowing an exciting glimpse into the rewards of disciplined training. Such exposure was critical to Yvonne Mounsey’s own early ballet training, and as Founder of Westside Ballet, she gave generations of young dancers the same opportunities which continue today in her honor.
Martine Harley, Artistic Director says, “Our annual Spring Showcase is an opportunity for our gifted young dancers to perform in a wide variety of classical ballets and contemporary works, which is a critical part of their ballet training. This tradition was set forth by Yvonne Mounsey, Founder of Westside Ballet, who gave generations of young dancers the same opportunities. We continue to carry forward her exceptional legacy in this program. It illustrates the evolution of our dancers from an inspired foundation to polished pre-professionals whose refinement and versatility belies their ages.”