Saturday, May 5, 2012

In Beauty Truth and in Truth Beauty ... And Ballet

Last week, elementary students from Pottstown got a special opportunity to see people who are very light on their feet.

As the result of a $10,152 grant from the Huston Foundation, 769 Pottstown kids attended the Brandywine Ballet's performance of "Beauty and the Beast on April 27.

It was all part of a social skills program aimed at preventing bullying.

“Wonderful news for the arts and youth in our community,” Donna Muzio, Artistic Director of Brandywine Ballet, said in a release.

Debra Montgomery, secretary of the Board of Directors, added: "A grant of this magnitude significantly enhances our ability to serve audiences that may not otherwise have the opportunity to experience ballet, and is affirmation of our continued efforts to make the arts a meaningful part of every child's education."

Pottstown students arrive for the show.
Rupert Elementary School Principal Matthew Moyer reported being told by one of this second graders that the show was "better than recess."

The Huston Foundation supports organizations whose activities help to broaden the cultural and artistic experience of the general public and those individuals which may otherwise be denied them.

Students participating in the program were transported from their school to see Brandywine Ballet perform "Beauty and the Beast" at the Emilie K. Asplundh Concert Hall on the North Campus of West Chester University.

One 2nd grader told Rupert Principal Matt Moyer the show was
"better than recess."
In addition to teacher chaperons, Pottstown High School student leaders who participate in the Upward Bound Program through Montgomery County Community College accompanied the students to provide positive role modeling.

They also made two videos that can be seen below, giving the younger students pointers on how to behave and how to enjoy the show.

The students engaged in learning sessions intended to impart ballet terms, rules of theater etiquette, and pro-social messages.

In recent years, the Brandywine Ballet has earned permission from the George Balanchine Trust to perform Balanchine ballets, as well as premiered works by Matthew Neenan, Ronen Koresh, Meredith Rainey, and Christopher Fleming.

The company has gained recognition from nationally published Dance Magazine for its thought-provoking mix of classical and contemporary ballet, and was recently featured in WHYY’s Experience “video postcard” series.
Students in the balcony get ready for the show.

The Huston Foundation strives to conform to the principles and directions established by Charles Lukens Huston, Jr., for the benefit of improving the quality of life through not-for-profit organizations.

The Foundation directors strive toward effective and efficient stewardship in receiving, researching, and evaluating requests for funding and determining the amount of distribution of funds in grants in areas of education, health, human services, arts, culture, science, civic, community services, and environment.

Here is the first video: Here is the second video, in which students talk about the performance:

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