Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Amherst Ballet Interprets the Magical World of Lisbeth Zwerger with the Original Ballet, Hansel And Gretel

(Amherst, MA - PRESS RELEASE) Audiences of all ages will delight in Amherst Ballet's Hansel and Gretel, based upon the Grimm Brothers' tale as illustrated by artist Lizbeth Zwerger. The story comes to life with the grace and attention to detail so characteristic of this artist as part of the exhibit, An Exquisite Vision: The Art of Lisbeth Zwerger, June 29 - September 26, 2010, at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art.

This original ballet was commissioned by the Museum and features imaginative choreography by Amherst Ballet's Director, Catherine Fair, paired with original sets and costumes designed to recreate Zwerger's stunning illustrations. The ballet tells the tale of two young children who lived during a time of great famine and were abandoned in the woods by their malevolent step-mother. Although the two children are resourceful and manage to find their way back home, they eventually find themselves abandoned in the woods again. Without hope and driven by hunger, the pair find themselves at the mercy of a deliciously evil witch who traps children by luring them with food and mouth watering candies. This version of the story includes a cast of characters, both good and evil, who in turn appear to come to the aid of the children, or to further their demise. Eventually, good triumphs over evil and the witch is tricked into meeting her end in a hot oven. The ballet ends on a triumphant note as the many children who have been under the witch's enchantment find themselves freed and join Hansel and Gretel in joyful celebration.

Twenty-four dancers between the ages of 7 - 17 years old are featured in the ballet, set to the music of a variety of composers including Rimsky Korsakov, Richard Wagner,Engelbert Humperdinck and Camille Saens-Sans. Sets are by Leigh Dunlap. Costumes are created under the direction of Heidi Stemple.

Lisbeth Zwerger is one of the foremost illustrators working today and has received the Hans Christian Andersen medal—the equivalent of the Nobel Prize for children’s literature. Her range of subject is remarkable, encompassing the Brothers Grimm, O. Henry, Oscar Wilde, Charles Dickens, and L. Frank Baum to name a few. Her artistic vision is informed by watercolors executed with a deftness and delicacy that nevertheless possess an assurance and substance.

Amherst Ballet, founded in 1971, is a non-profit, pre-professional ballet school located in Amherst Massachusetts that trains local young dancers and reaches audiences through high quality performances and collaborations with local arts and educational organizations. For more information about Amherst Ballet, please visit www.amherstballet.org.

Together with his wife Barbara, Eric Carle, the renowned author and illustrator of more than 70 books, including the 1969 classic The Very Hungry Caterpillar, founded The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art as the first full-scale museum in this country devoted to national and international picture book art, conceived and built with the aim of celebrating the art we are first exposed to as children.

For more information about The Carle, please visit, www.carlemuseum.org.

Event Details:

August 28 - August 29, 2010
Saturday 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm, and Sunday 1:00 pm and 2:00 pm
The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art
125 West Bay Road
Amherst, Massachusetts 01002
(413) 658-1100
Free with Museum Admission!

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