April 26, 2007 issue

The Wizard of Oz and The Twelve Dancing Princesses This Weekend

Story by Celeste von Mangan

Somewhere over the rainbow, some 30 years past, Cay Harkins, owner and operator of Studio K Youth Ballet Dance School in Boone, portrayed Dorothy Gale at the Land of Oz on Beech Mountain. She met the Scarecrow, Tin Man and Lion. Unlike the Dorothy of the classic tale, however, Cay/Dorothy married the Tin Man. Self-professed Wizard of Oz fans, Harkins and her husband love all things Oz, so much so that Harkins created a Wizard of Oz ballet that will be performed at Farthing Auditorium on Saturday, April 28, at 7:00 p.m. and on Sunday, April 29, at 3:00 p.m.

Harkins and her company began rehearsals months ago, in January.

“It’s very, very challenging,” she said. “This will be our third time performing The Wizard of Oz over the last 10 years. There’s no ballet, no music for it. We had to go through the public domain for music and create a ballet. It’s not like Swan Lake where Tchaikovsky composed all the music. We used composers like Mendelssohn and pulled from many others. We have a windmill on stage and we try not to make the witch too scary so we don’t frighten small children. There’s also special effects; it snows on stage during the poppy scene and when the witch appears, there are fireworks.”

The ballet is true to the traditional storyline, so much so that Toto is portrayed in the production by Harkins’ own Cairn terrier named—you guessed it—Toto.

Prior to The Wizard of Oz performance, Studio K dancers will perform a one-act ballet called The Twelve Dancing Princesses, a tale of a king and his 12 beautiful daughters. Each morning, the princesses present their father with their dancing shoes that are worn and full of holes; each day the king has the castle cobbler repair the shoes. One night, the king has the cobbler stay outside the princesses’ door, pretending to slumber. The cobbler discovers that the 12 princesses are traveling to an enchanted kingdom where they dance until dawn. He tells the king of their joy and one princess falls in love with the cobbler. They marry and of course, live happily ever after.

“It’s a very, very short ballet, ” said Harkins. “It’s a very, very fun ballet.”

Harkins continued, “All our ballets are always geared toward young children and right up to the older ones. They’re not so classical and we try to make them as entertaining as possible.”

Tickets cost $10 for adults and $8 for students and children and can be purchased from Farthing box office by calling 828-262-4046. Tickets will also be available at the door.

A jazz/tap recital will be open to the public for free beginning at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, April 28.


Want to Go?

Date: Saturday, April 28, and Sunday, April 29
Time: 7:00 p.m. Saturday/3:00 p.m. Sunday
Location: Farthing Auditorium, ASU
Cost: $10 adults/$8 students and children