LCCB performed The Sleeping Beauty ballet in 1995 with new costumes and sets. The costume creator for the performance was Costume Designer Ray Delle Robbins. Recently our company returned to Houston—back to Ray Delle so she could revive her creations to their beautiful beginnings. With help from Bobbie Grizzle who has labored beside Ray Delle for over 20 years, the women silently measured and pinned and wrote notes on small tan cards. Many alterations will be needed for over fifty costumes worn by the lead characters in the ballet.
Ray Delle recalled our original order for The Sleeping Beauty ballet as clearly as if it were yesterday. During her inspection of the costumes on this visit, she found the fabrics and designs still fresh and beautiful, but the tulle skirts and the elastic shows were in need of repair. While she worked with each dancer she answered our questions about her career and her job at Houston’s Theatre Under the Stars.
She began her education as an art and drama major, but quickly realized she liked to eat more than she liked to perform so she earned her teaching certificate. After teaching school for seven years, she worked for 17 years with Houston Ballet in the wardrobe department. For the last 25 years, Ray Delle has been the Costume Shop Manager at TUTS; although her title may change from show to show. Ray Delle manages three shows for TUTS theatre each season. Traveling shows featured at TUTS and her own contract work, fill in her free time. During our fittings, Ray Delle received a visit from her prop man and set man. It was quickly apparent they are a close theatre family as they greeted each other with bright smiles and hugs.
Ray Delle spoke of her ‘spells’ with certain colors and explained how her costumes show her love for a color during certain periods in her career. She easily recognizes her creations by the fabrics and her stitching. Ray Delle Robbins will be adding to LCCB’s The Sleeping Beauty extensive costume collection with new costumes for King Florestan XXIV and the Queen, Prince Désiré, Bluebird and many, many more. We are now accepting Sponsor memberships, and individual ticket sales will begin later in the year. Visit our website at www.lakecharlescivicballet.com to reserve your seat at the ballet and witness the splendor of Ray Delle’s work up close and personal.
It’s not easy to enter the Rosa Hart Theatre via the loading dock door during a July deluge, but somehow, photography equipment, costumes, dancers, Lady Holly and Bohuslav Rattay, the charming new conductor of the Lake Charles Symphony, made it. The purpose? A publicity photo shoot for the March 2012 production of The Sleeping Beauty. Maestro Rattay kindly took time out of his busy Summer Pops schedule do the shoot with LCCB principal dancers. Bohuslav (Bo Hu slav, dancers discovered it is pronounced with the accent on the second syllable) is, as Katelyn Chargois put it, “cool.” He is at ease in front of the camera and jokes around on the set. The dancers enjoyed getting to know our new conductor.
And what about those yellow sneakers? To honor Bohuslav, the girls showed up in colored Converse All Stars, only to discover that the Maestro’s famous footwear is actually a brand called Diesel. He says they are very comfortable.
Photo by Cameron Durham
While on set, Maestro Rattay told me that he is excited about conducting the Tchaikovsky score. Although he has worked with ballet companies in the past, this will be his first time conducting The Sleeping Beauty.
Talk about a busy schedule! Conducting the Lake Charles Symphony is not the Maestro’s only job. He is currently the music director of the Muncie Symphony Orchestra, BallStateUniversity and has a busy guest conducting schedule. Rattay is originally from Prague, Czech Republic, so he also spends time in Europe. Bohuslav has said many times that he loves the people and the culture of Southwest Louisiana, and is most happy to be here. In a recent email conversation he shares, “I am eagerly looking forward to working with the young dance talents of Southwest Louisiana and foreseeing that this production of The Sleeping Beauty will awaken the Lake Charles arts community….. “ All involved believe that when combined, the talents of these two distinct organizations create an electrifying synergy greater than the sum of its parts and will add to an already lively arts season in Southwest Louisiana.
LCCB can’t wait to meet with Bohuslav and the rest of the Lake Charles Symphony orchestra in March. Mark your calendars for Saturday, March 17, 2012 at . You won’t be disappointed!
Kelley Saucier 2011-2012 LCCB Board President
LCCB Season Sponsorships are available now, and include tickets to The Sleeping Beauty. Call Kelley Saucier at 337-513-5808 for more information. You may also visit the website at www.lakecharlescivicballet.com.
Lake Charles Symphony Season Memberships are also available now. For more information call their ticket hotline at 337-433-1611 or visit their website at www.lcsymphony.org.
Photo by Cameron Durham / Houston Ballet Center for Dance at dusk
Do you have talent? Some people have multiple talents, and they don’t even have to work for them—they come naturally. Others may search their entire lives for a talent and may never discover it. An arts organization is filled with talented people. A nonprofit arts organization depends on talented people for survival. Lake Charles Civic Ballet has always had its fair share of talent. We have artists, accountants, educators, lawyers, writers—you name it, we’ve got it. But the really special part about these talented behind-the-scenes people is the fact that they are all volunteers.
Some of our volunteers are here for only a short time while others stay for the long haul. Some are young and others older. The older ones may have children active in The Ballet today or adult children who were in the past; the volunteer may have danced as a child. Everyone volunteers for different reasons. Some people are involved because they share a love for the arts, and others just because they want to share their talent with someone else. Their talents, ages, and reasons may vary greatly from one to the other, but The Ballet appreciates all our behind-the-scene volunteers.
The photograph above was taken by one of our youngest volunteers. Cameron Durham has served Lake Charles Civic Ballet in several roles over the last five years. His younger brother, Adrian, is a member of LCCB. Cameron is studying and developing his photography and cinematography skills. On occasion he works with professional photographers documenting weddings around Louisiana and is working on expanding his portrait portfolio. The Ballet looks forward to sharing Cameron’s talents with our Facebook fans and on The Ballet Blog.