By Sue Pascoe
Photos by Todd Lechtick
Westside Ballet of Santa Monica dancers will perform a classical and contemporary ballet repertoire at 1 and 5 p.m. on Sunday, May 27, at the Broad Stage, 1310 11th St., in Santa Monica.
The Showcase will feature “Paquita,” one of the most celebrated examples of 19th-century classicism dance. Pacific Palisades resident Mirabelle Weinbach will be dancing the starring role as well as performing in a featured role in Sophie Monet’s “Handel Dances.”
Weinbach, a sophomore at Brentwood School, has danced with Westside Ballet for eight years. During her summers, she has trained with Boston Ballet School, Pacific Northwest Ballet School in Seattle and the School of American Ballet in New York, where she will be returning this year. When she’s not dancing, she loves reading and hopes to study journalism and writing after pursuing a dancing career.
In her biography, Weinbach, who was a semi-finalist in the L.A. Spotlight Awards in March, writes,“Ballet is so special because all it takes is your body and the music to move someone and make them feel something. The idea that we can use our bodies to evoke an emotion in another person without any words—it’s amazing, and there’s nothing else in this world quite like it. That feeling of transforming music into movement is so special, and it’s why I love ballet so much.” Partnering with her is guest artist Robert Mulvey, a professional principal dancer who has performed with Washington Ballet, Los Angeles Ballet and Barak Ballet.
Stefan Goy, a sophomore at Palisades Charter High School, is an exceptional Ukrainian dancer and will be performing in “Etude Classique,” “Stars and Stripes” and “Grease.” Palisades residents or those who attend school in the Palisades who will also perform are sixth graders Chloe Butler (Crossroads) and Brooke Freyer (Corpus Christi School), seventh graders Sofia Davies and Zoe Mack (Paul Revere Middle School), eighth grader Daniella Zhou (Revere), Palisades High freshman Sidney Brody and sophomore Olivia Polite.
The program will include excerpts from “Coppélia” and “Sleeping Beauty, as well as Westside Ballet’s interpretation of “Fête de Carnivale,” showcasing the school’s youngest ballerinas.
Resident choreographer Sophie Monat will revive her contemporary ballet, “Handel Dances.” Mario Nugara’s “Stars and Stripes” will highlight the flourishing boys’ program, and SMC’s acclaimed choreographer, Jae Young Lee, will present her newly choreographed ‘Entangled Somewhere . . .,’ with music by J.S. Bach. The showcase will conclude with Michele Bachar Mendicelli’s jazz premiere of “Grease” as a homage to the 40th anniversary of the 1978 movie.