By Scott Hamilton
The Children’s Ballet of the Ozarks performed their rendition of Snow White and The Seven Dwarves last weekend at the Star Theatre in downtown Willow Springs. They will repeat the performance this weekend, Sept. 13, 14, 15 at 7 p.m. and a matinee Sept. 15 at 2 p.m. Cast members have all trained at the facilities in Cabool over the two months in preparation for the show.
I attended the opening weekend during the Saturday afternoon matinee performance, along with my family, and was surprised to see many families with small children out to enjoy the show. The ballet is clearly able to be enjoyed by people of all ages. There were outstanding performances by all the members of the cast, including those with very small roles in the show.
I was very impressed with the excellent display of the pointe technique by the lead ballerinas in the show. Snow White was played by Brante Copling, and The Evil Queen was played by Tia Copling. You could easily tell that several years of training went into learning the techniques before being able to show the level of mastery on display during the show.
The leading balleinos, the king played by Elijah Hamilton, the huntsman played by John Stewart, and the prince played by Aiden Stack, all provided excellent lifts for the lead ballerinas. This resulted in an excellent show of ballet talent.
The most enjoyable part of the show for me was watching the rabbit, Jaylee Meyers; the dove, Medwid; and the blue jay, Lydia Divan; meet the seven dwarfs for the first time and try to protect Snow White from them. The fun, high energy dance scene that took place left the audience in laughter. The seven dwarves were played by Ayzlee Copling, Kimberly Whipple, Voanna Littlejohn, Faith Medwid, Natalie Wake, Vivenne Iacovleva, and Shandra Copling brought the comic relief to an otherwise tragic tale of deception, evil, and death. Zalina Copling was the youngest performer on the stage that night.
The level of training and the impressive skills show the dedication not only of the performers, but of the instructors at the academy. Regardless of the young ages, and small town location, the Children’s Ballet of the Ozarks is able to provide professional showmanship and well worth a trip to Willow Springs to watch a performance.
For more information, or to purchase tickets, call 417-217-3546 or go online to www.childrensballetoftheozarks.com/home.html. The Star Theatre is in Willow Springs.