October 1, 2016
Message from the Artistic Director:
Sixty second-graders wiggle excitedly in their seats. They have just performed on a real stage for an audience in a real theater, doing real ballet steps that they have
spent the past six months learning in a New Haven Ballet school outreach program called DanceAir. On the stage in front of them girls in shimmering pink tutus run on, carrying hoops made of roses. The children and their parents gasp, then sit, transfixed, as girls and boys only a few years older than they dance on their toes, lift their legs high above their heads, and leap as if they know no gravity.
With little fanfare but a hush of anticipation, twenty differently abled students, some in wheelchairs, come onto the Shubert stage holding hands with their counterparts, ballet students with whom they have trained in a New Haven Ballet program called Shared Ability. Learning from one another, all the students take their places and perform their choreography, as tears come to the eyes of the spectators, who rise to a standing ovation.
Two hundred girls and boys age 6 to 16 make their way to a basement studio day after day, week after week, month after month, where they spend 90 minutes or more stretching, shaping, lifting, jumping, repeating exercises hundreds and thousands of times until their bodies can obey their commands and do things that most people can only dream about. They are learning how to make the magic.
Every year, the 400-plus students at New Haven Ballet spend months of their lives working for those few precious moments when they will come onstage and make magic, for their audiences and themselves. Some of these students hope to become professional dancers one day; some simply enjoy the exercise and the camaraderie, the shared exploration of limits, the brief moment in the sun when they have their chance to shine onstage. They make magic for us all.
New Haven Ballet has been in the business of making magic for more than 30 years–bringing families together for the holiday classic The Nutcracker at New Haven’s historic Shubert Theater; offering students the opportunity to work with guest teachers from the best companies in the world and to perform pieces created especially for them; bringing ballet to New Haven’s underserved elementary schools; reaching out to the differently abled community with a program of dance and learning.
But making magic is costly. Funding is needed for state-of-the art studios where superb professionals can teach students in a safe environment; for sets, costumes, and live music so that the performances will be a feast for eyes and ears; to send expert staff out into the Greater New Haven community to bring the transformative power of dance to one and all. Tuition, grants, and ticket prices cover some of these costs, but they cannot cover them all. The rest depends on you.
This fall, we ask you to make the magic with us. Our goal is to raise $12,000 to help support our superior training, superb guest artists, dazzling costumes and sets, and outreach to New Haven’s underserved communities. Won’t you help us? The magic you make will touch lives all around you: https://newhavenballet.givezooks.com/campaigns/you-make-magic-happen
New Haven Ballet