Lake Charles Civic Ballet

First Experience: Week One LCCB Summer Intensive

Guest Writer: Evette Ange

LCCB  kicked off another promising Summer Intensive Program with guest instructors from the Koresh Dance Company.  Founded in 1993, the Koresh Company of Philadelphia, is a unique company known for its superb dancers and engaging performances.  The Koresh dancers, coming from a varied background of dance styles, incorporate all forms of art into dance.
LCCB SI Week OneLCCB SI Week One
LCCB dancers had the benefit of instruction from two of these professionals, Jessica Daley and Shannon Bramham, ten and five year members of Koresh.  Dancers studied styles of dance ranging from strict classical techniques to creative contemporary dance.  Daley emphasized the fact that the Koresh Company prides itself in artistic excellence and engaging choreography that connects the dancer to the audience.  The first week of SI instruction from these two gifted performers was an exceptional educational experience for the LCCB dancers.

Photos by Cameron Durham

Day 2 at the Barre

Chargois’ first day at Steps was a good challenge, and it’s good to see a sense of humor as she works through some sore muscles.

LCCB The Ballet blog Day 2 at the Barre

Sore muscles aren’t uncommon if you’re working hard, or attempting a new combination or a new dance style. It sounds as though Katelyn is experiencing all of the above. She reported some cramping in her calves, but after a massage she seemed ready and excited for tomorrow’s classes.

Read Katelyn’s latest blog entry here, and stay connected with her summer dance experiences by following her blog at www.chargois-en-vol.blogspot.com.

First Steps

Chargois’ first class at Steps revealed she has received strong technical training, great support from her friends, and possesses a healthy competitive spirit. Read Katelyn’s In Flight blog entry about her technique class with instructor David Howard.

LCCB The Ballet blog - First Steps

Steps on Broadway in NYC provides daily classes for all dance styles, for all levels, for all ages 7 days a week in ballet, tap, jazz, modern, hip-hop, theater and more.

Chargois – Day 1

LCCB’s Katelyn Chargois created a blog to share her summer experiences with young dancers who may be considering summer training.

 

LCCB The Ballet blog Chargois - Day 1

It looks like Katelyn’s senior trip started with some travel problems–bad weather, flight delays and boredom, but she made the best of her situation. An early morning nap, her favorite music, and a good book helped pass the time at the airport. Once she arrived at her destination safely, those earlier problems disappeared quickly.

 

LCCB The Ballet - Day 1

Flight delays can happen so plan ahead. Pack the right things to help pass the time during a delay. A smart phone with earbuds can be the perfect tool, but a laptop, ipad, noise deafening earphones, and a Kindle are popular options as well. Multiple devices can help save your phone’s battery for more important things, like an emergency phone call.

 

LCCB The Ballet blog Chargois - Day 1

You can by-pass some delays and travel expenses by careful packing. Make an itenerary for each day of your trip and plan your travel wardrobe around your activities. Carry-on bags can save you time and money, but if you’re heading out on a 5 – 6 week intensive you may need to check a large bag. Dancers must pack their dance ‘gear’ just like any athlete, and additional clothing for free time and evening activities. You can use your packing itenerary to help keep you on track during your trip, too. Preparation can make a huge difference in your experience so take the time and plan well.

 

LCCB The Ballet blog Chargois - Day 1

Katelyn will spend her first week of summer intensive training in New York City. Prior to her trip, Katelyn researched the classes and instructors scheduled at Steps on Broadway. She also found evening activities that would compliment her training, such as Broadway and NYC Ballet performances. Most summer intensives offer additional activities to fill your time outside the studio. Theses activities may come at an additional fee, but they can compliment your summer intensive training.

 

Check out Katelyn’s blog at In Flight.

Season Ends, Summer Begins

The season has ended. We hope you were part of the Spring Performance audience and witnessed the beautiful dancers and their awesome performance. We introduced some of youngest Lady Leah Lafargue students and said goodbye to some of the LCCB principal dancers. Some of our dancers will move on to full-time employment, some will begin college careers, and others will move up to become principal dancers. With the LCCB Summer Intensive just a few weeks away, the dancers are focusing on relaxation and summer trips.

LCCB New York in June

LCCB Dancers performing New York in June during Spring Performance.


Principal Dancer Ashley Eaves has moved to Houston, Texas. She has worked long and hard to earn her college degree, and she’s excited to transition from student to full-time employee. We hear she begins and ends each day with yoga, Pilates, or some form of exercise. We have a feeling she’ll be back to collaborate with LCCB in the future.

Principal Dancer Margaret Lie performed her Senior Recital in Flute and Piano last evening. She leaves us in awe of her many talents. She dances, plays multiple instruments expertly, and excels at her studies. Margaret will attend Harvard this summer and begin classes at Rice University this fall. We look forward to Margaret’s future successes.

LCCB The Ballet Blog

Mrs. Lisa Tauzin, Mrs. Patricia Cavell Bulber, Margaret Lie, and Keith Chamberlain at Margaret’s Senior Recital.


Principal Dancer Katelyn Chargois will attend University of Oklahoma this fall, but this summer she will study in New York at Steps on Broadway then return to participate in LCCB’s Summer Intensive. Follow Katelyn’s experiences to NYC and during her last summer with LCCB on her newest blog titled In Flight

Summer has begun. We have an exciting staff this summer for our students, and a fabulous season coming up for our sponsors and fans.

Getting Ready for the Show – An Art Show!

Guest Writer: Kelley Saucier, LCCB Board Member

I sat in Rosa Hart yesterday watching the first full rehearsal of LCCB’s Christmas in Louisiana: Once Upon a Time (CiLA) with my good friends and fellow board members Stephanie Weaver, Erin Lang and Carla LeBoeuf. This was my first time watching this year’s production and Stephanie, Erin and Carla’s first time to ever see it at all. Created in 2004, CiLAand only performed that one year, we are all very excited to see something new

LCCB 'CiLA' sets

Crew members make adjustments to the Ryan Street Trolley.

As we sat and talked during the rehearsal, we marveled at the drops and settings created by local artist and resident LCCB designer, Fred Stark. Fred created the original settings for the 2004 production, but he didn’t quite finish or perfect some of his works that year. He is excited to be bringing back these creations for this year’s performance and to make them even better.

So what will you see? Well, a fabulous backdrop depicting Ryan Street in the 1890’s for starters. The scene sets the stage for the trolley car that used to roll down Ryan Street. LCCB dancers actually jump onto a trolley Fred built for LCCB – both the backdrop and trolley is part of the permanent collection of the ballet company.

Fred has also created a beautiful blueprint backdrop depicting the classic architecture of our Charpentier District. Carla has been busy restoring garden district homes, so she was able to share with us some of the details she noticed in Fred’s blueprint. For example, the columns are actually known as Lake Charles Columns!

LCCB 'CiLA' sets

Fred Stark gives instruction to crew member Matthew Locklin and soloist Adrian Durham in the soon to be filled Rosa Hart Theatre.

Jean Lafitte and his pirate crew is my favorite number in the show – I know, I know, it should be the part with my own daughter playing Catherine Sallier, but I love the pirate dance. We did not get to see the entire ship on stage yesterday, but their sail was flying. I can’t wait to see them with their full set.

Fred’s artistry is a gift to our community. When you come see Christmas in Louisiana: Once Upon a Time, not only do you get an action packed hour of Christmas spirit and Lake Charles history, you have the opportunity to see the work of a great local artist. His creations are part of our local culture and a legacy that will endure with Lake Charles Civic Ballet.

Cameron Durham Photographer

LCCB Profiles: Andrew Anderson

Andrew (Drew) Anderson is a principal dancer with Lake Charles Civic Ballet. Drew has danced many roles, but over the years he has developed his skills as teacher, assistant rehearsal director, and choreographer. Many thanks to Karen Wink for her work showcasing the artistic talents in the lake area.

LCCB Making Online Progress

Lake Charles Civic Ballet has a new website! Over the next few months we will be developing our pages and the options available to you. Visit often! Soon we will offer you Season Sponsorships, Ticket Sales, School Performance Reservations, Educational Resources, Plan A Visit, Store & more.

Interview with Ashley Eaves

Guest Writer: Kelley Saucier, LCCB President

 

Lake Charles Civic Ballet Principal Ashley Eaves
     Everyone loves the bad guy. Think about all of the movies you’ve seen where you are rooting for the villain, enjoying yourself and then think, “Oh, wait Heath Ledger is evil right now.” Then you go back to rooting for Bat Man. You may have a similar experience when you watch Ashley Eaves as the wicked Carabosse in The Sleeping Beauty.
     The beautiful Miss Eaves is quite tall, model tall, so when she goes up on pointe in her fantastic costume she is quite imposing. Her height is a fabulous asset as she brings her character to life in a really big way. Believe me, you are going to love her, even though you’re supposed to hate her. Ashley and I talked about how she creates such a vivid character. “I was in the drama club at Merryville High School. I was always cast as a larger than life or obscure character. We did musicals, and in musicals you must be animated. I played lots of characters, like if there was a crazy old lady, I’d be that. I researched on YouTube a lot for this role. I watched Royal Ballet, Paris Opera Ballet. Seeing others helped. Lady Holly’s version is different, but I am able to draw from the energy of those who have created Carabosse in the past.”
     The role of Carabosse is incredibly physical. I am worn out just watching so I asked Ashley about what it takes to get through it. “It’s a heart-pounding cardio thriller! I think Lady Holly tried to see how much she could put into 4 minutes of choreography. It’s good because it’s so challenging, but I’ve got 4 minutes to change the whole story. I’m the antagonist, so if I don’t do a good job then the audience won’t understand the curse and why Lilac is so important. I hope I make it come to life. I hope people see the contrast between Addie (Saucier/Lilac) and me; that she is good and I am evil and that really comes across.”
     Carabosse spends most of her 4 minutes menacing the Royal Court of King Florestan, so we discussed the give and take on the stage. “I love interacting with Damien (Thibodeaux/Catalabutte) and Mary and Joel (Werner/King and Queen). When they come to life with their characters the more comfortable I am being the Mistress of Evil. It’s been especially good this week being in the theatre.” I have to say their interaction is one of my personal favorite parts of the ballet. They are all so believable. So, when you come to see The Sleeping Beauty, you will definitely see great acting!
     Run – do not walk – straight to the Civic Center Box Office to buy your tickets if you haven’t already done so. Trust me; you do not want to miss seeing Ashley as Carabosse. She is so much fun to watch. Dynamic, gorgeous, and thoroughly entertaining – you are going to love to hate her!
     Ashley is the 21 year old daughter of Sharon and Darrell Eaves of Merryville, Louisiana. She is a senior accounting major at McNeese State University. Ashley began her dance training in Merryville as a tap dancer. She has studied dance for 19 years, four of those being ballet training at Lady Leah Lafargue School of the Dance in ballet. In her short time at LCCB, Ashley has had many feature roles including Mother in Daguerreotype, Miss Scarlet in Clue, Hawaiian and Japanese in Rudolph. Ashley teaches tap and Jazz at Lady Leah Lafargue School of the Dance.

Profile photo by Cameron Durham / Dance photo by Romero & Romero Photography

Interview with Adelaide Saucier

Guest Writer: Kelley Saucier, LCCB President

Lake Charles Civic Ballet Principal Adelaide Saucier
     So let me introduce you to my eldest daughter, Adelaide. I can’t believe that she will be graduating from High School this May! It’s because of her that I am here writing all of these ballet company interviews, spending all of my time at the theatre and talking to Lady Holly 100 times a day. She had just turned three when I enrolled her in ballet class because that was what everyone else was doing. In third grade she quit other activities and said, “This is what I want to do.” It was her choice. I had no intention of being a ballet mom, having never spent any time at the barre myself. Yet here I am, and I couldn’t be more grateful.
     Adelaide has the great fortune to play Lilac Fairy, Queen of all the Fairies in The Sleeping Beauty. I asked Addie what the challenge is in being Lilac. Her answer: “What isn’t the challenge of Lilac? There are super challenging steps throughout the ballet. I have to be a leader and act regal, queenly. It’s fun. I am really enjoying it and it has helped me to improve as a dancer. My partnering skills have improved immensely.” In Act II, Lilac has a long partnering sequence with the Prince, Drew Anderson. Adelaide and Drew have been partners many times and I asked about their relationship. “Lady Holly says he calms me down and I give him confidence. It’s a great relationship. We are like brother and sister, and it translates well in our partnership. We have a lot of trust in each other.”
     Lilac Fairy is one of the leads of the ballet and she is in all four acts, so Addie and I talked about her stamina. “I am going to need about two gallons of water pre-intermission and two gallons post intermission, and I will be sucking oxygen in the wings. In Act I, the Birthday Party Scene, I am on pointe the whole time doing all of these bourres. It seems and appears easy, but it is so tough, and I have to look calm and pretty. There can be no tears. We have established levels of difficulty during Sleeping Beauty. The dancers have developed a code and hand gestures to express those levels as part of our comic relief. It’s ‘Fairy Bonding.’ Those bourres are a HIGH level!”
     Kisler Hathaway Whitworth, assistant rehearsal director, daughter of Lady Leah Lafargue Hathaway, artistic director emeritus, has been an important part of the training process for Sleeping Beauty. Addie says, “Kisler has really helped everyone so much, she has put so much into it, she’s great. She’s super positive. If you’re having trouble with a step, she just looks at you and can tell you how to fix it. I know that there is no way I’d be doing my variations as well as I am without her help. She’s really funny and a ham. She’s performing in the ballet and she’s still got it; she’s a pro.”
     Adelaide is grateful for the opportunity to perform a full length ballet with the Symphony with the amazing costumes and sets, and especially the growth as a dancer. This has translated into some great choices for her future – so where will she go to college? “I am still undecided. I am just excited to have choices. But wherever I am, dance will be a part of my life.”
     I said at the beginning of this piece that I am grateful too. For 15 years it has been my joy to watch Adelaide and Gabrielle enjoy the art and discipline of classical ballet and to participate behind the scenes. I never would have imagined my life as a ballet mom, but I have had the most fun being a part of LCCB. Adelaide made a great choice for herself, and for me. I think she will continue to make great choices in life. Who knows where she will lead me next.
     Adelaide is the 17 year old daughter of Kelley and Luke Saucier of Lake Charles. She is a senior at St. Louis Catholic High School. Adelaide has studied ballet for 15 years, the last 10 with Lady Leah Lafargue School of the Dance and Lake Charles Civic Ballet; in addition she has participated in summer intensive workshops at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, and Dallas Metropolitan Ballet. Over the years, lead roles in LCCB productions have included The Flirt in Daguerreotype 2007 and 2010, Clemmy in Once Told to Me, Mary and Snow Queen in Rudolph. She also was a part of the 2004 cast of Petrouchka with the Lake Charles Symphony. Adelaide is still deciding where she will attend college next year, but has been accepted to dance programs at Chapman University in Orange, California, Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas where she is an alternate for the Nordan Fine Arts Scholarship, and has received a Loyola Scholar Award to Loyola University in New Orleans.


Profile photo by Cameron Durham / Dance photos by Romero & Romero Photography