Hallie Chametzky dances as Peter and Emily Shimizu as the Wolf.
Completed in just four days in 1936, Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev’s orchestral fable Peter and the Wolf sought to “cultivate musical tastes in children from the first years of school.” It has done exactly that, introducing generations of children to the instruments of the orchestra and the concept of telling a story through music.
Rather ingeniously, Prokofiev depicted each of the story’s characters as a different musical instrument. Thus, the violin represents Peter, a flute represents the bird, an oboe stands in for the duck, a clarinet serves up the cat, and a French horn gives us the wolf. Each cast member not only gets its own instrument but also its own motif, thereby guiding children through the storyline. The plot is not complicated — Peter wanders into a meadow where he encounters a duck, a bird and a wolf — but this tale packs enough excitement, humor and creativity to thrill audiences of all ages.
The talented students of the University of South Carolina’s Dance Conservatory, ranging in ages from 3-18, will perform Peter and the Wolf this weekend at Drayton Hall Theater, with performances at 6 p.m. on Friday and 2 p.m. on Saturday. The production also includes a piece for advanced students, choreographed by conservatory instructor Mindy Chester. Mazeppa will be danced to live accompaniment by Claudio Olivera, a doctoral candidate in the USC School of Music.
Each spring, the conservatory stages a performance for its students, offering them a chance to step foot on a university main stage. The conservatory’s highest-level dancers have the roles of the main characters. The performance, choreographed by Chester and the conservatory’s administrative director, Kerri Lambert, features 16-year-old Dreher High School student Hallie Chametzky dancing the role of Peter.
Chametzky recently moved to South Carolina from Illinois and plans to major in dance when she enters college. Dancing in her first principal role, she says the most challenging aspect of her character is creating a believable male persona.
“I have to watch my hands and make sure they are not too feminine,” she says.
Fifteen-year old Emily Shimizu portrays the menacing Wolf. A dance student since the age of 5, Shimizu’s goal is to stalk, crouch and be a convincing wolf while performing the many jumps and leaps required of her demanding choreography.
A vivacious crew of petite young ballerinas supports the lead characters, depicting characters such as flowers, water sprites, bees and little ducklings. Nine-year-old Ainsley Lewis is a Guardian of the Meadow and is excited that her grandparents are coming all the way from Ohio to watch her dance.
Chester, a recent USC Dance graduate, has been working with the students to develop their characters.
“This story gives the older students an opportunity to enhance their artistry as performers by learning how to develop a character role,” Chester says. She loves teaching the students, both the new dancers as well as the advanced pupils.
“As I grow as a teacher, they grow as students,” she says.
Performances are Friday at 6 p.m. and Saturday at 2 p.m. at Drayton Hall Theatre on the corner of Sumter and College streets. Tickets are $12 for all ages and are available by calling the box office at (803) 777-5112.
Delicious Downtown Breakfast
Tony’s is open for breakfast every day from 7:30-10:30! Conveniently located on Washington St. right off Main. Stop in for something filling and delicious before work! Follow us for updates on specials.
Music Break at Music Farm Columbia
Join COR for an evening of networking for music and business leaders on September 3rd, featuring performances by Josh Roberts and the Hinges, Death of Paris, Fat Rat Da Czar, and Lazy A and the Green Thang. Free admission for musicians and members! Register here.
Happy Hour and Sushi Specials All Week
Red Bowl in Lexington now has great early bird and late night sushi specials 7 days a week, as well as 99-cent kids meals on Saturdays! Click here for special information and hours.
A two-day outdoor art and crafts show celebrating its 38th year. Being held on September 5 & 6, 2014, Click for details
Accepting Applications for Shakespeare’s Kidz!
Students ages 10-16 are invited to join South Carolina Shakespeare’s new youth company, with classes running September 20th-December 11th followed by a final performance. Learn and hone audition skills, monologues, and scenes from Shakespeare and modern works! Contact Katie Mixon with questions about scholarships and applications: PKatieMixon@gmail.com.
Not Your Typical Greek Restaurant
Ariana’s in West Columbia serves up delicious all-natural, low carb dishes, as well as homemade bread and baklava. Come try the best salad dressing in town! Location info and hours here.
SEARCH FREE TIMES
Company seeking carpenters, plumbers, masons work is year around with a 40 year old company. Starting pay is $10.00 but experienced individuals will be compensated accordingly. Must have a clean driving record and must bring a copy of your driving record to the interview. Please call 803-865-1200.
U.S. Security Associates
Now hiring immediately for armed and unarmed security officers. WE TRAIN YOU! Columbia & surrounding areas. ussecurityassociates.com
Pool Cleaning-Full and part time available. Must have a clean driving record, be organized and have a professional appearance. Starting Pay is $10.00 per hr, please call for an interview, please bring a copy of your Driving record and a list of all past employers with duration of employment listed as well as telephone numbers for references. Cal 803-865-1200
Real Estate Spotlight
Mungo Homes. Celebrating 60 years of our family building for your family. mungo.com