Showcase finale for great ABA year

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 22, 2010

What an exciting past weekend as Andalusia Ballet presented their final performance of the 2009-10 season with “Alabama Treasures, Building on Traditions.” A salute to Alabama, the program opened with dancers from the pre-ballet program through the most advanced level, as they performed to Alabama fiddling music. The graduating seniors, Daley Kappenman and Lauren Powell, performed a solo dance which exemplified their outstanding talents. There was also a performance by Kate Barrow and Jarrod Sickles of Montgomery Ballet. These dances were beautiful and delighted everyone as we watched the little dancers and the more advanced ballet performances.

One of the highlights of this year’s Spring Showcase was the Modern Suite, which showed everyone the outstanding talent of teacher and choreographer Callie Edgar Hatchett and her student dancers. Suggesting the future, with all of her students attired in a variety of metallic silver costumes, the dancers moved in dynamic patters as they jumped, turned and soared through the space to very forceful music. It was quite thrilling to see all of the modern students incorporated into one very energetic dance. This year’s dance theme was carried through into the tap, jazz and acro performances. These dancers really kept the audience entertained with their varied dances. The Senior Jazz piece, choreographed by Marcus Alford of Atlanta, brought in audience cheers as it included portions of both Alabama and Auburn fight songs.

All of this evening and afternoon of dance was certainly not possible without the parents and volunteers who give of their time and efforts throughout the year. Always at rehearsals and performance is the man behind the lighting, Mr. Jerry Wishum. Thank you, Jerry, for always helping. Thank you, LBW and the Solon and Martha Dixon Foundation, for allowing Andalusia to have the Dixon Center for Performing Arts.

In addition to the outstanding performance which Meryane Martin-Murphy, as artistic director, has made a tradition for Andalusia over the past 27 years, awards and recognitions were given to many deserving individuals. The first recognition when to dance instructors Callie Edgar Hatchett, Shelly Barbour Wagoner and Laura Popwell Wells. Mrs. Murphy announced that Callie has been accepted into the masters program of dance at the Tish School of the Arts at New York University and will be moving to New York in ate summer.

ABA president Beth Weed recognized the corporate sponsors and contributors who help to make Andalusia continue to be recognized as an “Alabama Treasure” with its outstanding dance programs. The award of excellence was presented to Cameron Morgan by last year’s recipient, Daley Kappenman. This award recognizes an exemplary student who represents the best of Andalusia Ballet through talent and professional potential. One who brings energy and inspiration to their instructors and fellow students, shows enthusiasm, self discipline, an excellent work ethic; and who consistently shows respect for the art form of dance, their teachers and fellow dancers. Congratulations to Cameron for being the recipient of the most coveted award of achievement and character.

The graduating seniors, Lauren Powell of Andalusia and Daley Kappenman of Enterprise, were recognized by Kathy McMillan, their Senior Company Mom. Congratulations also went to board member of the year, Robert Foremen, and volunteer of the year, Joyce Mitchell.

Amidst the smiles and the tears, congratulations to Andalusia Ballet on a great 2010 season. The next season will all hold many thrills as plans move forward for the renovation of Church Street School, the future home of the Andalusia Ballet! If you would like to be a part of any of the classes offered or participate in any way with Andalusia Ballet, please call the studio at 334-222-6620.

Mary Lynn Pierce Edgar