What do you get when you combine an original script, avant-garde choreography, a musical score featuring symphonic treatments of rock legends and add some magic and illusions? You get an exciting “fusion ballet” called Corciev, the Grieving Wood and it is set to be presented April 21st and 22nd at the Dallas Performing Arts Centre on the campus of the Dallas High school. It has been six years since the Joan Harris Dancers last staged this work.
Marking the thirty-third consecutive year that the Joan Harris Centre has staged a full-length ballet, the regional performing arts school has chosen to showcase this ballet. Corciev represents a collaboration between author and area native Dr. Kenton Harris and choreographers Elisabeth Harris and Jennifer Harris. The repertoire for the work includes both classical ballet and modern pieces which are stage to a musical score that is quite unique. Act one features compositions by Mozart, Listz and Wagner, however the score for act two features symphonic treatments to the music of Pink Floyd, such as the songs Time and Money and Led Zeppelin, Kashmir and Battle for Evermore. The score creates a dream like reality for this unique fairy-tale.
Corciev is the story of a grieving queen whose loss is so great that it could darken an entire forest. The spell can only be lifted by the kindness of young child. Set in a surreal kingdom, the tale revolves around Queen Clava. In the prologue we find out that she has lost her child and has gone into such a deep state of mourning that it cursed nature itself to weep. She wanders the kingdom at night searching for her beloved daughter and from time to time spirits away children to her forest sanctuary in the hopes of relieving her pain. Such is the case when Clava and her dark wraiths abduct the young Princess Anna. A rescue attempt is made by her older sister Princess Joan, who, with the help of a sorceress and four good spirits, sets off for the forest, Corciev.
The Joan Harris Centre has staged a full-length ballet featuring all of the students of the school each year since 1984, rotating the styles of the work to include romantic, character, classical and avant-garde forms. Through the years the studio has produced Swan Lake, La Fille Mal Gardee, Don Quixote and last year’s Coppelia.. Literally thousands of dancers have benefited from this program and alumni of the school have gone on perform with and win scholarships to such prestigious companies as the Joffrey Ballet, the New York City Ballet, the American Ballet Theater, the Tampa Ballet and the Miami Civic Ballet.
Auditions for the principle roles and the corps de ballet were held in January at the Harris Conservatory for the Arts and were conducted by professional dancer from Atlantic City, Kelly Harris. Over 90 ballerinas and danseurs tried out. The roles of Princess Joan and Princess Anna will be assayed by Caroline Conrad, Dallas and Eliana Pileggi, Swoyersville respectively. The court Sorceress will be played by Kaylee Serbin, Plymouth Township and Sydney Swales, Nanticoke will dance the role of the dark Queen Clava.
Over four hundred dancers from across the region will be appearing in the weekend performances. Choreographer’s Elisabeth and Jennifer Harris along with the studio’s twelve other ballet instructors have staged the dances to allow all the ballet students from the centre’s to participate. The production will feature elaborate costuming, rich scenery and a diverse score that will transport the audience to a dream-like setting.
Corciev will be performed on Saturday, April 21st 1:00 and 5:00 pm and Sunday April 22nd at 2 p. m. Tickets are $15 in advance and can be purchased at the Harris Conservatory for the Arts, on Charles Street in Luzerne.
For more information, call 570-287-7977 or 570-718-0673.