On April 2, Greater Bridgeport Youth Orchestra’s Symphony Orchestra will play Peter & the Wolf at the University of Bridgeport for the original choreographed dance production by New England Ballet Company (NEBC). This will be the first time GBYO has performed for dancers and the first time NEBC has danced to live music. This performance is sponsored in part by The Kiwanis Club of Weston. The performance begins at 3 p.m., at the University of Bridgeport’s Mertens Theater at the Arnold Bernhard Arts Center.
The ballet features Prokofiev’s classic 1936 score, an opus written specifically to cultivate a love of advanced music in young children. The ballet is choreographed by New England Ballet Company’s Artistic Director, Victor Trevino. Trevino has a long history with New England Ballet Company, dating back to the nineties. Other ballets choreographed by Trevino for NEBC include Nutcracker, The Adventures of Little Red Riding Hood, Swan Lake, and numerous classical duets and solos.
One of Fairfield County’s premier youth orchestras, GBYO has become part of the fabric of the local community in its over-half century existence. The group began when the Connecticut Symphony Guild started a youth orchestra for kids interested in developing ensemble experience and today numbers more than 300 young people from all over the state.
The Symphony Orchestra, which comprises kids from many communities has been practicing for the live event since January. The goal of the collaboration is to give Symphony an extra performance opportunity at a high level of musicianship — an enriching experience similar to inviting a guest performer or conductor to work with one of our groups.
“It will be an all-new and completely different experience for Symphony musicians to learn how to match the music to dancers,” said GBYO executive director Christopher Hisey. “We expect they will learn a lot from the experience.”
New England Ballet Company dancers will have the opportunity to work with live music for the first time in its more than 25-year history. It will require flexibility and agility to stay in time with the musicians versus working with recorded music where the tempo is always the same,” said Kenneth Hopkins, “The dancers will need to pay close attention to the conductor as well. Teamwork between dancers and musicians will be paramount for the success of the performance. The dancers and musicians will realize a new appreciation throughout this collaboration.”
“Working with an orchestra helps not only the dancers and the musicians, but the audience to understand how the arts are related. It is beneficial exposure to all the artists involved,” said Trevino.