Sunday, April 18, 2004

SCPA's ballet students present 'Sleeping Beauty'

Students join pro in full-length ballet

By Kathy Valin
Enquirer contributor

The Ballet Ensemble at the School for Creative and Performing Arts is presenting a full-length production of Sleeping Beauty.

Former Cincinnati Ballet principal dancer Patricia Rozow has coached seniors Cira Robinson and Megan Vesper in the lead role of Princess Aurora. Professional Rene Micheo portrays Prince Florimund.

Performances are 7 p.m. April 30, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. May 1, and 2 p.m. May 2 at the Abigail Cutter Theatre at SCPA, 1310 Sycamore St., Over-the-Rhine. Tickets $7-$12, at the SCPA box office, 363-8100, or

From 10 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. April 29 and 30, SCPA offers a shortened production with bargain-priced tickets for groups from schools and assisted-living communities.

Learn to tap

Since 1989, when May 25 was designated National Tap Dance Day, tappers in Cincinnati have celebrated what Congress called "a manifestation of the cultural heritage of our nation, reflecting the fusion of African and European cultures into an exemplification of the American spirit." Or, as Rep. John Conyers of Michigan put it, "By golly, there ought to be a law to make everyone love tap dancing!"

This year's extravaganza takes place at Xavier University's Gallagher Center May 15.

Becky Hoag of Columbus Taps! and Joe Deer, who teaches at Wright State University, will lead master classes at noon and 1:30 p.m. A pair of tap shoes and $15 gets you in. Take both classes for $25.

At 4 p.m., see dancers ages 8 to 80 perform on stage. Buy your tickets at the door: suggested donation is $7 -$15, and kids under 5 are free. Tap shows are known for including everyone. Performances often end with everyone in attendance trying out the "shim sham."

Young dancers in choice roles

High school students Eliza Kelley-Swift and Leigh Lijoi will perform leads in the spring production by the Otto M. Budig Academy of Cincinnati Ballet.

They will dance in Twelve Dancing Princesses and Beauty and the Beast. Performances are May 15-16 at Deer Park High School and May 21-22 at Northern Kentucky Universitry. The academy has previously used professional dancers for the roles.

Both are graduates of the Venture Program (the Budig Academy's pre-professional training program), and were trainees with Cincinnati Ballet during the 2003-04 season.

Kelley-Swift will graduate cum laude from Walnut Hills High School this spring. She has accepted an apprentice contract with Cincinnati Ballet. Lijoi is a junior at Lakota West High School.

Open auditions

Next Generation Dance Company will hold preliminary open auditions at 2 p.m. May 2 for young dancers interested in participating in local performances of the Moscow Ballet's national tour of The Great Russian Nutcracker. The tour comes to the Taft Theatre on Nov. 4 and 5.

One hundred dancers are needed. The audition will be held at the Cincinnati Dance Academy, 4122 E. Galbraith Road, Deer Park. Information: 351-4444.

Senior soloist's swan song

Cincinnati Ballet senior soloist Leah Elzner gives a farewell performance with the company during The Princess and the Pea: A Tribute to Carmon DeLeone, April 30 and May 1 and 2 at the Aronoff Center, downtown. DeLeone is in his 35th year as the ballet's music director.

Watch for this exquisite dancer in a pas de deux from the ballet Billy Sunday.

Performances are 8 p.m. April 30, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. May 1, and 2 p.m. May 2. Ticket information at

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