Discover All Things Regional in Central PA’s art and culture scene. Join hosts Cary Burkett and Joe Ulrich as they make artistic discoveries throughout the midstate. From music and visual arts to theatre, museums, literature and more! Listen every Wednesday and Friday on witf 89.5 and 93.3 for features highlighting the best and brightest cultural happenings in the region.
The life of a professional ballet dancer is full of graceful leaps, elegant pirouettes, gorgeous costumes and enthralled audiences. But there is another side to it as well.
Adrienne Schulte is a professional dancer, currently a member of the American Ballet Theatre in New York City. She has also performed as First Artist with the English National Ballet. Her foundational training in ballet was in Carlisle at the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet with Marcia Dale Weary.
Part of the training at CPYB involves bringing in current professional dancers to help the students get a deeper perspective in ballet performance. Recently, Schulte was one of the professionals brought in by CPYB to help coach the students in their upcoming production of Tchaikovsky’s The Sleeping Beauty. She’s performed in the ballet many times both in America and Europe.
She describes her role as helping the students find ways to understand what lies within the dance steps. The students are already proficient at executing the ballet choreography. Schulte works to help them develop inner understanding and find dramatic purpose in their movements.
Something else happens in the process as well. The students absorb lessons that are not specifically related to dancing. They pick up nuances and attitudes which give them a clearer glimpse into the world of professional ballet. That world, while one full of sweeping music and beautiful gesture, is also one full of challenges and difficulties. The students, on some level, get a chance to see the type of commitment needed to persevere through the less glamorous aspects of the art.
The CPYB production of The Sleeping Beauty is at Whitaker Center in Harrisburg on April 20 and 21. Performances at Saturday at 1 and 7 p.m., and Sunday afternoon at 2. Below you can hear our feature and interview with Adrienne Schulte and CPYB student Lauren Ostrander.
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