Elizabeth ‘Lizy’ Gates trained with Lady Leah Lafargue School of the Dance just prior to attending the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. Since school Lizy has been a guest performer with many professional companies and worked as a ballet instructor and choreographer for studios in Louisiana and Texas. Beyond her classical ballet education, Lizy has studied the modern techniques of Martha Graham, Lester Horton, and Merce Cunningham. Her inspiration for her choreography comes from many sources, but she says her main inspiration is the music itself.
This season Lake Charles Civic Ballet is fortunate to have Lake Charles native Elizabeth Gates in the studio working with dancers and participating in our season. During a sneak preview in November, a trio of principal dancers performed Psalm of Spring which was choreographed by Ms. Gates especially for the event. Elizabeth Gates’ Psalm of Spring will be featured at the LCCB Spring Performance later this season.
In the studio with Katelyn Chargois and Elizabeth Gates.
Lake Charles Civic Ballet’s founder, Lady Leah Lafargue Hathaway revealed her creative brilliance and artistic vision through dance and the stage. Lady Leah’s genius is found in the company’s extensive repertoire which features numerous ballets created or set by her. She provided a place for artistic talent to develop and for professionals to work. Over the years many artists and guests have shared our studios and worked behind the scenes with photography, lighting, sets, costumes, and choreography.
While our foundation was laid by Lady Leah the next generation continues her legacy and promises to entertain our audiences with the beauty of dance and the stage. Today, the position of artistic director has been passed toLady Holly Hathaway Kaough. She works her magic with the company, but she honors her mother’s vision—a place where artists can work and collaborate with others. The original works of Lady Leah fit seamlessly with exciting new works created by Lady Holly and guest choreographers such as Elizabeth Gates.
In this third video of Karen Wink’s interview series, Karen features LCCB Principal Katelyn Chargois in a studio rehearsal for Elizabeth Gates’ Psalm of Spring. This original piece byElizabethwill be performed at LCCB’s 2012 Spring Performance in May.
In the studio with Adelaide Saucier and Elizabeth Gates.
Elizabeth ‘Lizy’ Gates, a former student of Lady Leah Lafargue School of the Dance the official school of LCCB, is not a stranger to our studios—she’s part of our history. Lake Charles Civic Ballet has collaborated with artists and arts organizations since its beginning. Talented artists such as Lizy are always welcomed and appreciated. This is not the first time Lizy has worked with LCCB dancers as a choreographer. For the 2008 Spring Performance, Lizy created Nocturne in memory of her father, Keith Gates.
LCCB’s 2012 Spring Performance will again feature a work by Elizabeth Gates entitled Psalm of Spring. In this second interview in her series, Karen Wink features LCCB Principal Adelaide Saucier during one of Lizy’s rehearsals for Psalm of Spring.
In the studio with Ashley Eaves and Elizabeth Gates.
Karen Wink caught up with choreographer Elizabeth Gates and three LCCB princpal dancers in the studio. Karen interviewed each of the members during a rehearsal for “Psalm of Spring” created for LCCB by choreographer Elizabeth Gates for our “Season Sneak Preview & Behind the Scenes with LCCB.” The complete piece was performed on Sunday, November 13, 2011. The evening was presented by L’Auberge Lake Charles and hosted by Heather Ieyoub of KVHP Fox29.
The first interview features Principal Ashley Eaves. LCCB looks forward to performing “Psalm of Spring” at our 2012 Spring Performance in May.
It’s crunch time at the North Pole. Santa and his elves scurry to finish making toys and load the sleigh before their Christmas Eve deadline.
So begins the story of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Lake Charles Civic Ballet’s thoroughly delightful production last weekend. I’ve been to several of this company’s performances, and this show was my favorite so far. The elaborate sets and colorful lavish costumes make the stage pop, but it’s the talented dancers who entertain, amuse, and bring the show to life. LCCB performs only original productions. No stale nuts at our Rosa Hart Theater. The company has been thrilling audiences with the Rudolph production every few years since the late 1960s.
The opening scene pays homage to the true nature of the Christmas season with a beautiful dance of Mary, with the Christ child in the manger. Then ballet director Lady Holly introduces Santa Claus. Santa and Mrs. Claus guide the elves through a fun frolicking scene at the North Pole. These young performers enthusiastically dance around the stage with wrapped presents and a myriad of toys. Humor is at the forefront here. The elves then take Santa’s list around the world and we see dancers, veiled in gauzy shadows behind a screen, represent exotic places such as Russia, Hawaii, Scotland, Switzerland, Mexico, Arabia, Holland, and Japan.
We finally have the pleasure of meeting Rudolph when Santa checks to see if the reindeer are ready for their annual trip. He discovers Rudolph feeling sad and alone. The other reindeer shove, snub, or completely ignore Rudolph and her blinking bright red nose. They believably paw at the ground, strut, swagger, and point their noses haughtily in the air. Rudolph tries so hard to make friends with the other reindeer, to no avail. Santa brushes off Rudolph’s woes. Despondent, the little reindeer runs off into the forest. Magical pine trees comfort Rudolph and Eskimo children encourage and lift her spirits.
Then it’s Christmas Eve and we all know the story. Snow and fog threaten Santa’s trek ‘round the world. Here we meet the exquisite Snow Queen, shimmering in a sparkling blue tutu, accompanied by a flurry of graceful snowflakes.
Back at the reindeer stable, Santa realizes Rudolph’s shiny nose can save Christmas. Through the magic of theatrics, the audience sees only the beacon and imagines Santa and his sleigh passing through the rows of seats, up into the balcony, and back towards the stage. The grand finale brings the entire jubilant cast out on stage for bows and a much deserved standing ovation.
Photo by Cameron Durham
Congratulations to the LCCB on an awesome performance! I can’t wait to see Sleeping Beauty in March 2012!
As I watched my son practice for Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Ballet, I was drawn to the educational experience it provides for children of all ages. I am a teacher who thrives on creative opportunities that will broaden the minds of my students beyond the realm of the everyday learning routine.
The history of Christmas as it relates to many cultures, countries, and traditions are embedded within the amazing ballet pieces presented. Santa discusses the rituals of countries such as Russia, China, and Switzerland. This ballet experience can provide many avenues for culture awareness development. Also, it can provide a plethora of in depth research that will challenge the mind of students across the parish. Teachers could use this opportunity for writing, comparing and contrasting the American culture to those of the countries discussed in the Ballet. State benchmarks and GLE’s definitely can be met on a higher level, which is the goal of all teachers. Students will also be able to develop a love for ballet, theatre, and telling a story through the art of dance.
Opportunities like this are those in which education should thrive upon. This total experience could cover a multitude of subject areas and student work. It is a great learning opportunity presented in a creative way. As educators and parents we must take advantage of those opportunities that will broaden the minds of our children. The Lake Charles Civic Ballet can provide that opportunity. Take advantage.
Pictured in photo from “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer‘ Around the World, Russian dance:
Lake Charles Civic Ballet took the opportunity to say thank you to sponsors, arts organization leaders, city officials, and special guests on Sunday, November 13, 2011 at Central School Theatre. The event, Sneak Preview & Behind the Scenes with LCCB, hosted by Heather Ieyoub of KVHP Fox29, gave the audience an inside look at the coming season and an opportunity to get to know the choreographers and principal dancers of LCCB as Ms. Ieyoub put them all in the “hot seat” on stage. Lady Holly Hathaway Kaough stated that LCCB’s ambitious season, which includes the Christmas classic Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer in December 2011 as well as The Sleeping Beauty in March 2012 with the Lake Charles Symphony, would not be possible without the continued support from the community. It was a wonderfully intimate gathering of special friends of LCCB who where treated to pre and post performance fare. We all had so much fun and look forward to our next opportunity to interact with our supporters: our Costume Preview Party for Patron Sponsors on March 2, 2012 at L’Auberge Lake Charles. If you aren’t a sponsor yet, it’s not too late to join and be a part of all the fun!
Pictured in photo: Adelaide Saucier, Drew Anderson
Students were shown a condensed version of a professional dancer’s day—from morning until night on the day of a performance. The glimpse lasting 60 minutes carried our students through morning warm up—consisting of barre and center work, on to the daytime rehearsals, and ending with the nighttime show. Complexions male dancers were greeted with hoots and snickers by our audience of middle school and high school students, but were soon awarded cheers and applause. The young audience quickly gained an appreciation for the skills and talents of these artistic athletes. The PASA daytime performance ended after a Q & A session between the Complexions dancers and the students.
“to dance is to move on a level far beyond athleticism. Yes, there are speed, power, balance, and endurance—all the things that define athlete. But then there are grace, beauty, form, emotion, and the power of communication. There is art.” __DanceMagazine, February 2002
Later that evening, UL Lafayette provided the location for a Complexions Dance master class taught by Assistant Ballet Mistress Sabra Perry. A master class provides ballet students with the opportunity to build their dance knowledge.
The class of approximately 50 dancers was given a brief introduction of the company and its artistic staff then went straight into a barre warm up. Sabra was very personable and gave great analogies to help the dancers learn some of the movements from two of the company’s ballets. All the movements were ballet based, with the upper-body lines lengthened to create the contemporary style. After the class, Ms. Perry answered questions and visited with the dancers. Lake Charles Civic Ballet members in attendance included Elizabeth Gates, Drew Anderson, Ashley Eaves, and Katelyn Chargois.
Complexions Contemporary Ballet will be performing tonight at Heymann Performing Arts Center in Lafayetteat . From New York City, Complexions Contemporary Ballet is an artistic treat everyone must see.
Pictured in bottom photo left to right:
Katelyn Chargois, Sabra Perry, Ashley Eaves, Drew Anderson, Elizabeth Gates
Photography and ballet are both skilled arts that take years of training to develop. If you ask a ballerina when she mastered her skill of ballet, she will tell you that a dancer is alwaysworking to master the art of ballet. Photography is the same. Combining these art forms can be challenging, but truly exciting.
The relationship of photographer and artistic director is not unlike the relationship of the choreographer and the dancer. Lake Charles Civic Ballet has had the privilege of collaborating with several photographers—professional and amateur.
For a photographer’s camera to successfully capture a dancer’s motion, the dancer must possess the physique and technique to display the movements and shapes selected by the artistic director, and the photographer must possess the talent and timing to capture the precise moment of the movement. The resulting photograph represents many layers of talent. Years of training, dedication, and skill—for everyone involved—frozen for all time.
LCCB is a pre-professional ballet company. On opening night of Resonating Fields at Historic City Hall, LCCB dancers, choreographers, photographer, and artistic director viewed the exhibit as guests, as well as teachers and students of the art of ballet. Thank you to Lois Greenfield for sharing her talent with the city of Lake Charles. ‘Like’ Lois Greenfield on Facebook at Lois Greenfield Dance Photography Workshops.
Members of the Lake Charles Civic Ballet are particularly excited about this show. Greenfield’s work inspires and impresses them. They know well the difficulty of the portrayed movements. Photographer Cameron Durham practices his craft all around town, including the ballet studio.
Photo by Cameron Durham
This seventeen-year-old home-schooled senior volunteers as a photographer for the Lake Charles Civic Ballet. Cameron has been studying photography and taking pictures for about four years. Many of his photographs can be found here on the ballet blog.
I had the pleasure of chatting with Cameron at the reception for Greenfield’s exhibit. He appreciates movement in photography and admired Greenfield’s talent for freeze-framing motion. We discussed the challenges of photographing dance. Lighting is important, as well as timing. “The right moment only exists for one thousandth of a second. It’s very hard to catch,” says Cameron. But he says his greatest challenge in dance photography is “getting the right angle so that it looks like it does on stage.”
Photo by Danley Romero
Cameron aspires to be a professional photographer. “I’ve devoted too much time to photography for it to only be a hobby,” he says. “My dream is to be an editorial photographer.”
Expect more of Cameron’s photography here as he hangs out with the LCCB dancers while they diligently prepare for their ambitious March 2012 production of The Sleeping Beauty.
Lois Greenfield’s show, “Resonating Fields,” can be seen at 1911 Historic City Hall through November 12.
Pictured in photos: top-Lady Holly Hathaway Kaough, Mayor Randy Roach middle-Lady Holly, Adrian Durham, Addie Saucier, Elizabeth Gates bottom-Cameron Durham