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Spotlight on Gulfshore Ballet’s performance of ‘Sleeping Beauty’ scenes at Biennial Grant Show


Gulfshore Ballet is performing The Sleeping Beauty ballet at the Tribby Arts Center at Shell Point on Saturday, April 20th. Five students from Gulfshore Gulfshore’s ballet school will also be performing an excerpt from Sleeping Beauty (the jewels section from the second act) at the City of Fort Myers Biennial Grant Recipient Show at the May 3rd opening reception at the Alliance for the Arts. Alivia Ban and Ella Litvak will take on the role of Diamonds, Madelena Urban will be a Ruby, Sarah Kate Feiock the Sapphire and Melia Brockington the Emerald.

For those new to ballet as well as those steeped in ballet, The Sleeping Beauty is the pinnacle of classical ballet.

Known for sumptuous sets and costumes, beautiful music and a happy ending, Sleeping Beauty is everything you would ever want a ballet to be, and more. The fairytale romance is also the ultimate test of a ballerina’s skill.

Tchaikovsky composed the ballet in 1889. He was 49 years old and at the height of his fame and power at that time. Chronologically, The Sleeping Beauty followed Swan Lake and was completed three years before The Nutcracker.

The story is based on a fairy tale from Charles Perrault’s collection Histoires Et Contes Du Temps Passé (1697), although Tchaikovsky’s ballet more closely follows the Brothers Grimm’s version, in which the King and Queen survive a 100-year sleep and celebrate the marriage of their daughter to the Prince with, additionally, several characters from other Perrault stories.

For The Sleeping Beauty, Tchaikovsky collaborated closely with the great Russian choreographer Marius Petipa, who provided guidance on how the dance events should unfold from the dancers’ perspective. It only took Tchaikovsky 40 days to complete a rehearsal score, although he did spend another three months tweaking and refining the score into the final version we have today.

The ballet is in three acts and a prologue.

The Sleeping Beauty may be the best of all my compositions, and yet I wrote it improbably quickly,” the composer would later remark. Sadly, he did not live long enough to see The Sleeping Beauty gain acceptance as one of the finest ballets ever written.

Gulfshore Ballet’s production of The Sleeping Beauty reflects both staging and choreography by Founding Artistic Directors Iliana Lopez and Franklin Gamero.

Gulfshore Ballet is Southwest Florida’s premier not-for-profit school of classical ballet. The school has an internationally acclaimed teaching faculty and offers area students the unique opportunity to study with professional instructors of the highest caliber.

The training at Gulfshore Ballet combines Cuban, American, and Russian technique and brings a quality of excellence not normally found outside major metropolitan cities.

The qualities gained from the disciplined study of classical ballet are advantageous throughout life. Beyond receiving high-caliber ballet training, Gulfshore Ballet students learn self-discipline, concentration, focus and creative expression—all of which serve to build character, confidence and a positive self-image.

Gulfshore Ballet was founded by Melinda Roy, a former Principal Dancer with New York City Ballet. Ms Roy operated the school for 10 years, setting the foundation for Gulfshore Ballet to provide classical dance training and education of the highest caliber. Melinda Roy retired in 2011, but Gulfshore Ballet was fortunate to have former Miami City Ballet Principal Dancers Franklin Gamero and Iliana Lopez take over as Artistic Directors.

Iliana Lopez & Franklin Gamero were born in Valencia, Venezuela. They began their careers at Ballet Nacional Teatro Teresa Carreño. Both went on to dance at San Francisco Ballet, Cleveland Ballet and as soloists with the Deutsche Opera Berlin and the Deutsche Opera am Rhein in Düsseldorf. In 1987, they became Principal Dancers with Miami City Ballet, where they remained for 18 successful years.

This season, Lopez and Gamero launched the adjunct professional ballet company, which debuted with a performance of Carmen during the Opera Naples Festival Under the Stars in March. Iliana and Franklin’s exemplary reputation worldwide, along with their exclusive access to the repertoire of famed choreographer Jimmy Gamonet de los Heros, gives Florida Gulfshore Ballet unique appeal to top dancers with international reputations who are looking to advance their careers.

Located at Shell Point, the 45,000-square-foot Tribby Arts Center features an array of fine and performing arts venues, including the state-of-the-art Connie Brown Theater, which seats 401 people and includes a mezzanine area and full stage. The center provides programming in the visual, performing, and literary arts.

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