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The King…Live! In Concert! Featuring John Ieyoub as The King with choreography by Damien Thibodeaux joined by Chris Flowers & Louisiana Express
This is piece is a blast from the past! We are so lucky to have talent like John Ieyoub living in SWLA and willing to share his artistry on stage with LCCB. John started performing as “The King” when he was just six years old because his sisters dressed him up to entertain the family. That led him to enter his elementary school talent show as Elvis. Then in 1975 he saw Elvis at the Lake Charles Civic Center and there was no turning back. He saw the reaction of the fans (especially the ladies) and was hooked. He developed his act and in 2004 John won $50,000.00 in a National Elvis competition. This number is exciting and FUN!
The King…Live! In Concert!
CHOREOGRAPHER: Damien Thibodeaux
MUSIC: The Louisiana Express
THE KING: John Ieyoub
YOUNG KING: Adam Richard
MAMA : Claudia Mayo
PRISCILLA: Gabrielle Saucier
LISA MARIE: Gambrelle Ieyoub
DANCERS: Jaina Ange, Hannah Arabie, Alakyn Collins, Stacie Driskell, Lauren Edwards, Cara Hanks, Grace Helms, Graceanne LaCombe, Clara Lang, Carmen LeJeune, Cedric Long, Abbie Grace Milligan, Meredith Owen, Alana Rembert, Lauren Reyes, Mary-Elizabeth Rosteet, Sara Beth Stewart, Heather Vogel, Abby Weaver, Claire Basone, Sarah Blue, Gabriella DeMourelle, Trinity Foret, Anne Helms, Emily Heskett, Leo Huber, Gabriell Little, Natalie Maggio, Aidan O’Neal, Natalie Reinauer, Sarah Richard, Mallory Colletta, Reem Husein, Gambrelle Ieyoub, Cagle Kaough, Claire Karriker, Katie Khoury, Jules LeJeune, Jillian Leleux, Sophia Lormand, Olivia Mayo, Jaide Navarre, Lucia O’Byrne, Marin O’Neal, Molly Ortego, Morgan Perkins, Ann-Margaret Rosteet, Mackenzie Schornick, Arden Turner, Avery Wubben
John Ieyoub is a native of Lake Charles, the son of Kalil Ieyoub and Julie Ann Miller. He is a graduate of St. Louis Catholic High School and McNeese State University. While at McNeese he served 2 terms as Student Body President, was President of Blue Key National Honor Society, voted “Who’s Who” among American college students, and is a member of Kappa Sigma Fraternity. Following McNeese he earned a masters degree in audiology from LSU. John and his wife, Heather Chovanec Ieyoub, have 4 children, Hunter, Gambrelle, Anderson, and Georgia. They are members of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, where he is an usher and musician. John serves on board of Lake Charles City Council. He is also a member of the Chamber Southwest, the Medical Group Management Association, and the NRA. He was appointed by Mayor Roach to serve on the campaign committee formed to promote the Downtown Development Bond. He has been active with the Children’s Miracle Network, ACTS theatre, Autism Society, The United Way, and he and Heather co-chaired the American Cancer Society Show for Life. In 2004, John won a national Elvis Tribute Artist competition. He has appeared in several national commercials.
Damien Thibodeaux was born and raised in Lake Charles, LA. His first time on stage was in ACTS Fiddler On The Roof. This led him to ballet training with Lady Leah Lafargue Hathaway. One year later, he was awarded a full scholarship to the National Academy of Arts in Champaign, IL, and then, the Alvin Ailey School of American Dance, in New York City. He has appeared in numerous musicals throughout the New England Regional Theater Circuit. Damien went on to work with the Ballet Theater of Boston, and Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo. He has been a Guest Artist with the Empire State Ballet, and the Metropolitan Opera Ballet. Mr. Thibodeaux has danced on Broadway, London’s West End, The Kennedy Center, and 4 other countries across the globe. He wrote and performed his one-man dance play, Tutu, seen Off-Broadway in New York, Boston, and Providence, RI. Damien has directed, and co-written, numerous musical revue-style shows. Locally, Mr. Thibodeaux has directed and choreographed productions for ACTS, Sarah Jones Ballet School, and Karen Ogden School of Dance. He has led workshops for the SWLA Women’s Conference, the Louisiana theater Festival. Damien has appeared on stage with the Lake Charles Civic Ballet in The Sleeping Beauty, Assemblé 2013 and 2014, Cinderella, as the Headmaster in Graduation Ball, and Bernardo in West Side Story. He also choreographed the Itinerant Theater Company’s production of Jesus Christ Superstar. Damien dedicates all of his LCCB performances to Lady Leah.
In 1980, Chris Flowers formed the “Louisiana Express Band” with some of the finest musicians in the South. With its current line-up, the band is enjoying great success as their fan base ranges from the Florida coast to the heart of Texas. Chris has been performing since she was 5 years old, and most of her band members started playing when they were very young. Overall, the Louisiana Express Band has over 200 years of combined experience! The longest tenured member of the band is lead guitarist Randy Melancon, who has been riding “The Express” for more than 20 years. The group also includes Jerry Mouton on bass, Tommy Ellender on saxophone, Clint Faulk on keyboard & vocals, James Marshall on trumpet & percussion, and Al Allemond on drums & vocals. These performers come from very diverse musical backgrounds and they’ve all played a wide variety of different styles including country, soul, funk, Latin, and classical. This diversity has enabled them to perform on the same stage with the likes of Percy Sledge, The Marvelettes, the Coasters, the Platters and many other national groups. However, the main focus for the “Express” is Swamp Pop-that good ol’, down home, Louisiana mix. That’s why the band is constantly backing up Louisiana artists like Johnny Alan, T. K. Hulin, G. G. Shinn, “Jivin” Gene, and Tommy McClain-all of who are trying to keep the Louisiana tradition of Swamp Pop moving.
Brahms Suite featuring Laurie Robertson, soprano, accompanied by pianist Eleanor Ekins
This is the truly classical portion of Assemblé. As Ms. Robertson sings the music of Brahms, the dancers join her on stage to perform in beautiful tulle costumes en pointe. LCCB has been working on this collaboration with Ms. Robertson for two years and is so happy our schedules could be coordinated for Assemblé 2015.
CHOREOGRAPHER: Lady Holly Hathaway
SOPRANO: Laurie Robertson
PIANIST : Eleanor Elkins
DANCERS: Jaina Ange, Hannah Arabie, Grace Helms, Graceanne LaCombe, Claudia Mayo, Abbie Grace Milligan, Gabrielle Saucier, Sara Beth Stewart
Laurie Robertson, soprano, earned a B.S. in Psychology from McNeese State University and a Bachelor of Music Education from the University of Houston. As a student she won 1st place in the Moores School of Music Concerto Competition and sang Mozart’s Exultate Jubilate with the Moores Symphony Orchestra. She also performed as a soloist with the Moores School Concert Chorale at the national conference of the American Choral Director’s Association. Ms. Robertson has performed solo roles in many oratorios and chamber works, including Requiem by Gabriel Fauré, The Creation by Franz Joseph Haydn, Laud to the Nativity of Ottorino Respighi, Requiem by John Rutter, Gloria by Antonio Vivaldi, Handel’s Messiah and Mendelssohn’s Elijah. Ms. Robertson is in her eighth year as the Lower School music teacher at Presbyterian School in Houston, Texas. She is currently a staff singer at Christ Church Cathedral and is a member of the Houston Chamber Choir.
Pianist Eleanor Elkins is a native of Lake Charles and studied with Lady Leah LaFargue for one memorable year before realizing her talents lay elsewhere. As a student of Dr. Fred Sahlmann, she won LMTA State Rally, soloed with the Lake Charles Civic Symphony, and was named “Outstanding Musician of the Year” as a high school senior. Further musical studies at the University of Colorado-Boulder led to both the MM and DMA in piano performance and faculty appointments at universities in South Dakota, Tennessee, Colorado, and Texas. She currently resides in Lake Charles and serves the community as a collaborative pianist, teacher, and church musician.
“Absence” and “Bestow Upon” by Golden Wright
LCCB is proud to feature choreography by Golden Wright, Associate Professor in Dance at Lamar University. During LCCB’s Summer Intensive 2014, Mr. Wright worked with dancers to create an intriguing contemporary ballet piece featuring fog, darkness and some very cool lighting.
A native Texan, Golden started his dancing career at the age of 16. He began his training under the direction of Debbe Busby, and joined the Victoria Ballet Theatre. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance and Master of Fine Arts in Dance at Sam Houston State University. Mr. Wright has performed with Ballet Arkansas, Ballet Austin, Ballet Forte, Corpus Christi Concert Ballet, Gobel School of Dance, Texas World Dance, Kista Tucker Dancer Company, Sam Houston Dance Company, Chrysalis Dance Company, Corpus Christi Ballet, Lamar Dance Company, Venecia Studio and the Victoria Ballet Theatre. Mr. Wright toured and performed in Tanzsommer, Austria. He has trained in New York and at the Joffrey Workshop in San Antonio. His performing repertoire includes Firebird, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Graduation Ball, Coppelia, Swan Lake, Earthbound,Nutcracker, Oklahoma and numerous other modern works of choreography.
“Absence” performed by:
Jaina Ange, Hannah Arabie, Alakyn Collins, Lauren Edwards, Cara Hanks, Grace Helms, Graceanne LaCombe, Clara Lang, Carmen LeJeune, Cedric Long, Claudia Mayo, Abbie Grace Milligan, Alana Rembert, Lauren Reyes, Adam Richard, Danley Romero, Mary-Elizabeth Rosteet, Gabrielle Saucier, Sara Beth Stewart, Heather Vogel, Abby Weaver
“Bestow Upon” performed by:
Claire Basone, Sarah Blue, Mallory Colletta, Abram Conner, Gabbe DeMourelle, Trinity Foret, Anne Helms, Emily Heskett, Leo Huber, Reem Husein, Gambrelle Ieyoub, Cagle Kaough, Claire Karriker, Jules LeJeune, Jillian Leleux, Gabriell Little, Sophia Lormand, Natalie Maggio, Skylin Martin, Olivia Mayo, Jaide Navarre, Aidan O’Neal, Marin O’Neal, Molly Ortego, Natalie Reinauer, Sarah Richard, Ann-Margaret Rosteet, Mackenzie Schornick, Arden Turner, Avery Wubben
“Tales from the Prairie” featuring the Barbe High School Mixed Chorus under the direction of Chris Miller
LCCB is thrilled to be collaborating with Chris Miller for the second season in a row. This year he shares with us the award winning Barbe High Mixed Chorus, excerpts from Oklahoma, a new medley he composed, and God Bless America as we pay tribute to the American Prairie.
The medley composed by Chris Miller combines three elements to create a blend of the sounds of
Sunday morning on the prairie. First, the Heleluyan chant is a Muscogee (Creek) tune. This Native American tribe currently resides in Oklahoma. “Land of Rest” is a classic hymn that provides a European influence to the work, utilizing text by Fred Kaan and Annabel Buchanan and parts from the “Sacred Harp” hymnal. The final layer within the piece is a recitation of an excerpt of “A Prairie Prayer” by Hilton Greer, a native Texan who spent some time in Shreveport, LA. The combination leaves us with one thought… Lord, make ME a prairie!
Barbe High School Mixed Chorus :
Marianne Alexis, Anna Borel, Corey Breaux, Gabrielle Broussard, Erica Brown, Monica Buller, Michael Bushnell, Ryan Byrne, Emma Cagle, Avrie Celestine, Haley Click, Kaitlin Colby, Olivia Dean, Haley Dial, Aaron Eaglin, Valeria Faria, Alexis Fontenot, John Green, Joseph Groves, Norman Hairston, Madison Haley, Isabella Huber, Brooklyn James, Adriana Johnson, Mary Landry, John Laneve, Morgan Leday, Aiden Looney, Emma Looney, Reginal Marshall, Kaitlyn McSpadden, Misti Monroe, Grace Moreau, Madeline Myers, Alexis Peron, John Primeaux, Caitlyn Reeves, John Richards, Michelle Sanders, Lindsey Scimemi, Lexus Simmons, Hillary Simon, Bryan Smith, James Smith, Gavin Sonnier, Olivia Stevens, Tyler Welch, John Williams, Keona Williams, Kelsey Wilson, Austin Wolf, Michael Wolf, Trent Young, Zoey Young
Hannah Arabie, Stacie Driskell, Lauren Edwards, Cara Hanks, Grace Helms, Graceanne LaCombe, Clara Lang, Carmen LeJeune, Claudia Mayo, Abbie Grace Milligan, Lauren Reyes, Mary-Elizabeth Rosteet, Gabrielle Saucier, Sara Beth Stewart, Heather Vogel, Mallory Colletta, Trinity Foret, Emily Heskett, Leo Huber, Reem Husein, Gambrelle Ieyoub, Cagle Kaough, Claire Karriker, Jules LeJeune, Jillian Leleux, Sophia Lormand, Skylin Martin, Olivia Mayo, Oliver Mixon, Jaide Navarre, Aidan O’Neal, Marin O’Neal, Molly Ortego, Natalie Reinauer, Ann-Margaret Rosteet, Mackenzie Schornick, Arden Turner, Avery Wubben, Claire Basone, Sarah Blue, Gabbe DeMourelle, Anne Helms, Gabriell Little, Natalie Maggio, Meredith Owen, Sarah Richard, Cedric Long, Adam Richard, Danley Romero
Où Est Le Fox? An LCCB Original featuring the music of Jeffrey Lee Roy conducted by William G. Rose
Jeffrey Lee Roy was just 18 years old when he composed Où Est Le Fox? for the Lake Charles Civic Ballet. It was a catalyst for his early training and professional career and it was performed by LCCB
and Brad Daigle’s 14 piece orchestra in 1971. The original handwritten score has been painstakingly deciphered, preserved and recorded by our conductor, William Rose. This ballet has only been seen once before and there is no audio-visual recording of it. Lady Holly Hathaway Kaough and Nancy Higginbothom have recreated the choreography based upon what they know of the original ballet. Bringing it back to the Rosa Hart stage is a labor of love for the creativity and passion of the artists of Southwest Louisiana. Because of their efforts this original creation can now be seen by our audiences this year and preserved for future generations. It is our privilege to resurrect this delightful story ballet.
CHOREOGRAPHERS: Lady Holly Hathaway and Nancy Higginbothom after Lady Leah Hathaway
COMPOSER: Jeffrey Lee Roy
CONDUCTOR: William Rose
TRUMPETS: Ricky Peters, Stephanie Lacoste, Brandon Lafleur
TROMBONES: Tim McMillen and Manny Neault
SAXOPHONES: William Christian and Reggie Rogers
TUBA: Michael Farrar
PERCUSSION: Taylor Teague and Marcus Leblanc
PIANO: Eleanor Elkins
HEAD HUNTRESS: Heather Vogel
HEAD HUNTER: Adam Richard
FOX: Lauren Reyes
HUNTERS: Alakyn Collis, Stacie Driskell, Lauren Edwards, Cara Hanks, Clara Lang, Carmen Lejeune, Meredith Owen, Alana Rembert, Danley Romero, Mary-Elizabeth Rosteet, Abby Weaver
DOGS: Claire Basone, Sarah Blue, Gabriell Little
Jeffrey Roy (April 18, 1952 – February 17, 1993)
The late Jeffrey Roy was born in Lake Charles in 1952. He taught himself to play piano at the age of 6, and his grandmother financed formal lessons at the age of 12 to allow his continued study. At the age of 16, Jeff received his first musical scholarship to SMU.It was also during this time that he began acting and performed in “Oliver,” “Dark at the Top of the Stairs,” “Long Journeys into Night,” and “The Winslow Boy.” He won several acting awards as well as awards for his original music scores, poetry, duet acting, and dramatic interpretation. He received a scholarship to McNeese State University for fine arts. While there, he composed musical scores for several theatrical productions and ballets. His composition Où Est Le Fox? played a vital role in Jeffrey receiving a scholarship to “The Neighborhood Playhouse” in New York City at the age of 20. For the next 20 years in New York, Jeffrey did musical direction for “Gypsy,” “I Do I Do,” “Whispers in the Wind,” and “Circus,” as well as an off Broadway show of “Godspell,” in which he also performed. Jeffrey performed in nightclubs, shows, taught music and singing lessons, wrote musical scores for Broadway musicals and shows, and wrote and directed for Jon Andersson. He and his band were the opening act for Chita Rivera and Carly Simon, and performed their own shows throughout New York City. He hosted talent shows for “The Lions Pub” and was the composer and lyricist for “Waking up To Beautiful Things” at St. Clements. Jeffrey Roy was a natural musical director, composer, and lyricist, and he is forever an integral part of the history of the Lake Charles Civic Ballet.
William G. Rose is presently Associate Professor of Music and Assistant Depart. Head in the Department of Music at McNeese State University in Lake Charles, LA. He teaches the low brass studio, music theory, music technology, conducts the brass choir, and serves as Musical Director for music theater productions, as well as holds the position of Coordinator of the Computer Music Lab. He holds degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Michigan State University; his principal teachers are Leonhard Rose, Dr. Gerald Grose, Donald Haack, Curtis Olson and Philip Sinder. He has served as principal trombone/ euphonium with the Milwaukee Civic Orchestra, bass trombonist with Acadiana Symphony and Chorale Acadiane, and has performed with the Milwaukee Symphony, the Greater Shreveport Symphony, Plymouth Symphony and the Ron Devilliers-Jack Carr Big Band, among others. He has performed with many distinguished musicians including Kevin Clark, Les Elgart, Chuck Hedges, Slide Hampton, and Skitch Henderson; and performed in shows for Johnny Mathis, Bob Hope, Donald O’Conner, Liberace, Neil Sedaka, Lena Horne, the Four Tops and Percy Sledge. He currently serves as principal trombonist with the Lake Charles Symphony in Lake Charles, Louisiana, and the Rapides Symphony in Alexandria, Louisiana, plays lead trombone with the Lake Charles Jazz Band and performs tenor banjo and tuba with the Bayou Jazz Kings. He is also Music Director at St. Luke-Simpson United Methodist Church in Lake Charles. As a theatrical conductor, he has served as Music Director and conductor for many productions in the SW Louisiana area for the McNeese Theater, Lake Charles Little Theater, Louisiana Choral Foundation, Itinerant Theatre, and most recently the Keith Chamberlain Productions presentation of “Jesus Christ, Superstar, As a composer and arranger, his catalog includes works for band, orchestra, jazz ensemble, choir, handbells, brass ensembles/alphorn choir and solo works for brass; his publishers include TAP Music, Kagarice Brass Editions, Gulfwind Music Press, Treble C Music, Fred Bock Music, Editions BIM, Warwick Press and GIA Music. He has held the Henry Alexander Endowed Professorship in Music at McNeese State University, is a Yamaha Performing Artist and a Melodious Accord Composition Fellow.
Getting the Part: A Ballet Mom’s Pointe of View
by Jennee Warner
Our tiny little dancer learned to plié not long after she learned to walk. As a baby she danced everywhere. She watched Barbie ballet videos on her tiptoes for what seemed like hours at a time. We placed her in a ballet class at three years of age and she’s been in love ever since. She loves every aspect of dance. From the grand performances and all that surround them, down to the sound the point shoes make when they hit the stage floor, she loves it all.
A couple of months ago she learned about the possibility of the title role of LCCB’s Drummer boy being cast from her age group. Our daughter knew immediately she wanted that role. She made the commitment to not miss a single class, and to work extremely hard to prove herself worthy. The girls in class were given a few steps to learn and practice, with the goal of auditioning for the role of the Drummer Boy. She practiced those dance steps everywhere for several weeks. If she was moving she was dancing. Not only did she dance nonstop, but she talked about the possibility of being the Drummer Boy even more. It was hard as a parent to watch her be so excited at the possibility, and then try to pull her back down to earth and remind her she was up against a large group of girls for the same part. No doubt these girls also made the same commitment that she did. I wanted it for her just as much as she did but was afraid of the disappointment she might be facing.
Madilyn went to sleep on Tuesday night after auditioning, knowing they were going to make the announcement on Thursday. The last thing she said before bed was, “I can’t wait for Thursday.” It was also the first thing she said Wednesday morning when she opened her eyes.
Unbeknownst to her, Wednesday morning while she was in school I got a phone call from Lady Holly offering her one of the rolls of the Drummer Boy. After discussing the commitment, the schedule and the time constraints, I happily accepted on her behalf. It was all I could do to not drive up to school, pull her out of class and tell her!
We found a fun way to tell her and honestly, she’s never been more excited about anything else in her 9 1/2 years of life. We went straight to dance from school after telling her. That first rehearsal was nothing to write home about. Fear of the unknown, nerves, teenagers she didn’t know, and a long day created the perfect storm for a less than great rehearsal. She left nervous and doubtful that she had the ability to do this. After a pep talk and a good night sleep, the second rehearsal was much better. I know Lady Holly, as well as her father, and I breathed a sigh of relief.
We go straight from school to the studio about 3 days during the week, and some days we stay past dinner time and she does her homework while she’s taking a break. She has given up a couple of Saturdays and Sundays also. She has not complained about this arrangement one time. She excitedly asks me about rehearsals every day when I pick her up from school. On the days she doesn’t rehearse at the studio, she turns on the audio for Drummer Boy and runs through the entire performance multiple times. Her father and I have never seen her devote so much of herself to anything before. We have watched her go from stumbling on the lines and not knowing the choreography to what we see today. I’m in the studio lobby alone, listening to them rehearse. There is such a difference in what I see and hear today versus what I saw and heard two short weeks ago. The time and work they are putting in astounds us. The hours of extra rehearsals, both at home and in the studio have definitely paid off.
We weren’t sure how a nine-year-old would be able to handle such a huge responsibility, but our daughter has handled it with more dedication and commitment than we could’ve ever imagined. She has seen for herself exactly what her hard work has done. Starting with making the decision that she wanted the role, and now seeing just how much better she has gotten and all that she has learned is truly amazing. She still has to work on perfecting the role. It’s not just dancing. It’s dancing with the drum and drumsticks, dancing with dancers of all ages, being able to act in sync with the narrated lines, making sure her expressions are correct and visible to the audience, and doing it all for the enjoyment of everyone in the audience. Of course she is excited about all that comes with being the drummer boy, but most of all she’s excited to be able to bring smiles to so many faces, especially the school children on field trips. She is absolutely thriving in the excitement and challenge and is extremely grateful for the opportunity she has been given. It’s something none of us will ever forget!
The Little Drummer Boy – Saturday, December 13, 11:00 am and 6:00 pm at the Lake Charles Civic Center Rosa Hart Theatre. Purchase tickets: www.lakecharlescivicballet.com
Photos by: Danley Romero, Romero&Romero Photography
The Very Rev. John “Jack” G. Myers (Rector of The Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd) returns to the stage to play the Inn Keeper in The Little Drummer Boy!
This is the ninth installment in our Assemblé 2014 blog series. LCCB guest artist Colten Miller shares the stage with his dad, Chris Miller, for Louisiana Saturday Night. Tickets are now on sale and are available at the Civic Center Box Office or www.ticketmaster.com See Ass
By Colten Miller
Being that my dad was my high school choir director, I’m used to taking direction from him. But now we’re sharing the stage and both taking direction for Lady Holly Kaough for Assemblé 2014. Chris Miller & Bayou Roots is returning to accompany LCCB with homegrown, upbeat, and engaging music for the Cajun-French ballet, Louisiana Saturday Night, in which I’ll be participating as one of the dancers. This is the one piece of the whole Assemblé program where the dancers can “let loose” and enjoy their surrounding environment.
The ballet opens up with the company members enjoying a “fais-do-do” with the live band jamming out on the porch of the quaint house, designed by Fred Stark. The ballet continues with familiar favorites such as “Jolie Blonde,” “Colinda,” “Don’t Mess With My Toot Toot,” and of course, “Louisiana Saturday Night,” just to name a few. Seeing the dancers mold to this indigenous music and still maintain the grace and beauty of ballet provides a picturesque and tasteful experience for the audience. This is something that you don’t want to miss!
The stories that my dad has of previous performances with LCCB are quite entertaining. For instance, back when LCCB performed Louisiana Saturday Night in 1996, there was a technical glitch that caused the keyboard to shutdown right before Marie (the keyboard is the ONLY instrument used for this pas de deux). Shortly after the realization that the keyboard wasn’t working, the band quickly moved on to the next number in the ballet. Soon after that, the black traveler curtain starts to frantically move across that stage—it was Lady Leah briskly pulling it toward the band. Once she got closer to the band, she whisper-yelled, “We skipped Marie, we skipped Marie- Just sing it Chris, just sing it!” So, once the next dance was over, my dad had to sing Marie acapella- no instruments were used. “You could hear a pin drop” mom said, who was sitting in the audience. But of course, the trained dancers performed flawlessly and the show went on.
I’m more than excited to be performing Louisiana Saturday Night with my dad for Assemblé 2014. It is a rare occasion when we get to share the stage together and I can’t wait to see this ballet come to life this weekend.
Colten Miller head shot by Danley Romero
This is the eighth installment in our Assemblé 2014 blog series. Tricia Lundy Barrow (original cast member of Louisiana Saturday Night) shares her memories from the original production and leaves a great message to all dancers. We are thrilled to have her help this year! Tickets are now on sale and are available at the Civic Center Box Office or www.ticketmaster.com See Assemblé 2014 March 22 and 23 at Rosa Hart Theatre!
By Tricia Lundy Barrow
Returning to Lake Charles Civic Ballet as an instructor for the 2013-2014 season continues to fill my heart with joy, as I have the opportunity to give back to a studio that helped bring my dream to fruition many years ago. Part of that joyful experience is the opportunity to assist talented young dancers in staging Louisiana Saturday Night for Assemble 2014, a unique ballet full of Louisiana culture and character, originally choreographed by Lady Holly in 1996, in which I performed a leading role, Jolie Blonde, in the original cast.
First, I must comment on the idea and opportunity for young dancers to participate in a performance such as Assemble 2014. Assemble truly brings the complete theatre experience to the dancers of LCCB, an experience few dancers have in a community the size of Lake Charles. LCCB dancers perform to live music, with not only the Lake Charles Symphony, but also a live Cajun band, teaching the dancers to adapt on stage to various tempos in music. They also collaborate with other community artists and choreographers, exposing them to musical theatre and other dance styles, which helps broadens their skill set for a possible professional dance career in the future. Having danced professionally for a ballet company, I saw first-hand the benefit of not “putting all your eggs in one basket” and learning to adapt to many avenues in the theatre, whether it be classical ballet, modern, jazz, tap, or musical theatre. Having a range of skills will set one apart in a very small, competitive world.
In my approximate 20 years dancing, no other ballet fills my heart with quite as much excitement as Louisiana Saturday Night. I was a junior in high school when Holly, once again, out did herself choreographing Louisiana Saturday Night. This was a crucial time during my ballet life, as I was auditioning for college dance programs and summer intensive programs, building my dance resume and technical ability. Preparing for Louisiana Saturday Night assisted my leap forward. The stamina required to perform the ballet might be comparable to running a marathon, except with pointed feet, turned-out legs, beautiful extension, and of course, beautiful grand jetés and pirouettes. The ballet required excellent technique but with the freedom to characterize your arms and head, non-traditional of classical ballet, and the freedom to laugh, flirt, and dance on stage like one was attending a party with friends. Perhaps that’s one explanation for a heart filled with excitement,
because I simultaneously enjoyed three of my favorite things – classical ballet, socializing, and dancing to live music. The unique partnering exposure and experience in the piece helped build my skill set and technical strength. As I watch the original videos, teaching the choreography to the present day LCCB dancers, I am flooded with many fond memories, but I also recognize how blessed I was to have Holly, such a young talented choreographer, who could truly take each person’s strengths and personality, magnifying them on stage through dance to create a beautiful ballet. The Gala finale placement of the piece both at the Southwest Regional Ballet Association Festival in 1996 and the National Festival in 1997 confirmed the unique choreography as well as the technical strength of the LCCB Company. The last piece placed on the Gala performance is considered the highest honor at Festival, and Louisiana Saturday Night performed last at Gala for the National performance in 1997. What a great honor to have the best placement in the nation!
I am so honored to share such a ballet with the LCCB dancers. I encourage each dancer to have fun rehearsing and performing Louisiana Saturday Night and to take advantage of all rehearsal time, pushing yourselves to perform the piece to the best of your ability, so that it, too, can help you leap forward, enhancing your ballet opportunities and dreams. Thank you, LCCB, for allowing me to be a part of your production!
Head shot by Danley Romero