Experience the "Legend of Sleepy Hollow" in a new full length ballet presented by Central West Ballet this fall. Choreographed by Artistic Director René Daveluy and Master Teacher Jan Clark Fugit, the show is based on Washington Irving’s classic tale with live narration and original music.
The story of Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman is brought to life by Daveluy and Fugit and the Central West Ballet dancers in a performance filled with spirited dance numbers, colorful costumes, and interesting characters to capture the thrilling American classic.
The ballet will hit the stage at the Gallo Center for the Arts in Modesto at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 16-17 and at the Grand Theatre Center for the Arts in Tracy at 7 p.m. on Oct. 24.
"The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" project was an idea that had been shelved for several years as Daveluy and Fugit were busy with other projects and commitments. Daveluy recently brought the idea back to the table and Fugit was on board so the timing was right for both.
Fugit is a Master Teacher, a choreographer and the principal faculty of the Ballet West Academy in Salt Lake City, Utah. She made three trips to Northern California to co-choreograph the "Sleepy Hollow" ballet with Daveluy.
The entire ballet has been completed at the facility in Modesto including rehearsals, costumes, music arrangement, props, special effects and set design. They used all the resources that were available to them so that they could keep expenditures down while still keeping the production rich.
A dancer himself, Daveluy has taken on the task of composing the music for this ballet and has a background in music with a family of musicians.
“I was always a big fan of the 'Legend of Sleepy Hollow' story because of the Disney cartoon that a lot of people may know,” said Daveluy. “The idea of the ‘Headless Horseman’ is so American; it is just entrenched in the history of this country and it really is unique.
“It is scary but at the same time there is something exciting.”
The ballet is designed as family entertainment, however, due to the nature of this production, it is recommended for children ages 10 and above. There will be two acts, accounting for a two-hour performance and a brief intermission.
Audiences will delight in the barn dance and the Hallow’s Eve waltz along with a dance number with Katrina Van Tassel and cousins.
“It is kind of a venture for us; we have never really done that before, a fall season that pertains specifically to everything that gears towards Halloween,” said Daveluy. “We just want it to be a lot of fun but still get a thrill out of it.”
Although Daveluy is enjoying his return to music by arranging the music for this production, he still enjoys the dancers the most.
“My favorite part is seeing the dancers bring it to life because without the dancers there just will not be any ballet,” Daveluy noted. “They really are working extra hard to bring those characters to life and the dances, to really make it an entertaining show.”
Other companies have done this classic before but this will be the first time for Central West Ballet.
“We really do want to give the audience what they expect because if you are going to go see the 'Legend of Sleepy Hollow' I think everybody, regardless of what they go to see it for, will definitely wait for the horseman’s entrance,” expressed Daveluy.IF YOU'RE GOING
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
Performances: 7:30 p.m. Oct. 16-17 at The Gallo Center for the Arts in Modesto; 7 p.m. Oct. 24 at the Grand Theatre Center for the Arts in Tracy
Tickets: $25 to $35 for Gallo Center,
; $19 to $39 for The Grand Theatre,atthegrand.org
The ballet is designed as family entertainment; however, due to the nature of this production, it is recommended for children ages 10 and above. There will be two acts, accounting for a two-hour performance and a brief intermission.