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Ballet company to present livestreamed 'Holiday Extravaganza' on Saturday

Show features blend of ballet and hockey, including segment starring Mayor Brandon Bochenski.

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Lindsey Anderson (left) and Sydney Rud, members of the Youth Ballet Company, part of the North Dakota Ballet Company, pose in Town Square. They are among the dancers who are featured in the "Holiday Extravaganza Digital Production" to be live-streamed Saturday, Dec. 12. (Submitted photo)
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The North Dakota Ballet Company will present a livestreamed performance, “Holiday Extravaganza,” at 1 and 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 12.

“Our holiday production is one of the hallmark events for our company each season,” said Laura Arneson, executive director. “And during these challenging times, we were committed to find a safe way to provide this opportunity for our dancers and artists to continue sharing their artistry, as well as bring some festive holiday joy for families in a unique at-home show experience.”

This year, the company’s dancers have created “an exciting production” that features a mixed repertoire performed by dancers, ages 7 to 18, in the Youth Ballet Company, as well as adult performers from the company’s pre-professional division.

The first act of the 90-minute show features scenes of Christmas through the decades.

The second act is a unique “Skater Ballet” that was originally staged by Emily Grizzell, a former soloist with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet. It features “favorite seasonal pastimes -- such as ice skating, snowball fights and even ballerinas playing hockey,” she said. “We have a special clip with Mayor Bochenski, so that is fun for the audience.”

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"The captivating performance includes a variety of dance styles to include ballet, tap, jazz, modern and hip hop,” Arneson said. “We are amazed by the resiliency of all of the dancers and choreographers and the work they put in to make this production possible."

“This is such a unique show,” she said, “in that it melds together two things that don’t normally go together: hockey and ballet. The dancers have put in so much work over the last few months getting this show ready for the stage and I can’t wait for families to experience the holiday magic (in) the comfort of their living rooms,” said Lauren Paulson, the show’s director.

“We are grateful for so many supporters who have made this show possible,” Arneson said, adding that Northern Plains Financial has given a sponsorship to provide the digital stream for residents at Valley Memorial Homes.

“We are so thrilled that we can bring this holiday joy to residents in such a challenging time,” Arneson said.

The Youth Ballet Company’s dancers also are working on a community outreach project, making more than 225 personalized holiday cards for residents at Valley Senior Living.

“It was so fun to see their creativity and see how excited they were to make each card special,” Paulson said.

Tickets, $10 each or $25 for a family livestream, are available on the North Dakota Ballet Company’s Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/events/677769983100844/ .

The ballet company also has teamed up with the Brick & Barley restaurant to offer a special dinner and show package. Adult and children’s “happy meals” are available for purchase for curbside pickup to enjoy at home before the show, Arneson said. Meals should be ordered by noon Friday at www.brickandbarleygf.com/ndbc .

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Elizabeth Gilbert (left) and Cole Rodgers, members of the Pre-professional Company, part of the North Dakota Ballet Company, perform in a scene from the "Holiday Extravaganza Digital Production" that will be live-streamed at 1 and 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 12. (Submitted photo)

Related Topics: THEATER
Pamela Knudson is a features and arts/entertainment writer for the Grand Forks Herald.

She has worked for the Herald since 2011 and has covered a wide variety of topics, including the latest performances in the region and health topics.

Pamela can be reached at pknudson@gfherald.com or (701) 780-1107.
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