Free ballet on tap Saturday

Published 5:55 am Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Brewton residents have the opportunity to see a free ballet performance Saturday night, with both local students and visiting professionals from New York taking part.
Lazar Ballet of New York, a company that is leading a summer intensive program at the Andalusia Ballet, will present &#8220Evening of Dance” at 7:30 p.m. at the Patterson Auditorium at Jefferson Davis Community College.
The Curtis Finlay Foundation is sponsoring the free event.
Andalusia Ballet students, including Mary Ashton McMillan of Brewton, will perform two short pieces to open the program, said Meryane Martin-Murphy, director of the Andalusia Ballet.
The rest of the program, which includes classical pieces and a modern ballet choreographed by Lazar Ballet founder Elie Lazar, will be performed by the professional company.
The Evening of Dance is the result of two weeks of intense instruction by Elie Lazar and his company.
The opportunity to dance with professionals has been an invaluable experience for her students, Martin-Murphy said. &#8220This is an opportunity for them to be partnered by professional dancers,” she said. &#8220This is an experience they would not get in Birmingham or even New York.”
McMillan, who just returned from studying three weeks with Connecticut's Nutmeg Conservatory, will be performing with the company along with other upper level Andalusia Ballet students.
Lazar Ballet was founded by Elie Lazar with the goal of expanding the world of dance by taking ballet to other parts of the country through intensive workshops like the one in Andalusia and performances like Saturday's free ballet in Brewton.
Lazar Ballet dancers are from all over the world, said Martin-Murphy. Performers hail from Israel, Germany, Korea, Italy, Columbia, Brazil and the United States.
Martin-Murphy said she appreciates the help from Sally Finlay and the Finlay Foundation in sponsoring Saturday's performance.

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