Ballet an experience mothers and daughters can enjoy together

Friday, April 23, 2010
Queen and King Florestan, played by Natalia Zyabukhina and Dmitry Romanov of the Moscow Festival Ballet, perform Thursday in "The Sleeping Beauty" at the Bedell Performance Hall at Southeast Missouri State University's River Campus. (KRISTIN EBERTS)

Several mother and daughter pairs used the Moscow Festival Ballet's performance of "The Sleeping Beauty" Thursday night at Southeast Missouri State University's River Campus as an opportunity to spend time together.

Maria Gates of Cape Girardeau brought her daughter, Mia, 8, to watch the professional Russian dancers. Mia is a ballet student at the Academy of Dance Arts in Cape Girardeau.

"She loved watching the show, "said Gates.

Going to ballets is common for the Gateses; they have seen the "Nutcracker" and other shows in the past. Last year, Mia was granted a part in the "Nutcracker" when a touring company auditioned children for dance parts.

Jamee Gaines and her daughter, Lily, 6, drove from Sikeston, Mo., to see the ballet. Lily wore her tutu and ballerina tights to the performance. During intermission, she twirled around a pole in the lobby with a friend, Mara Hartzog, 7. Seeing the ballet from the orchestra section of the Bedell Performance Hall, Gaines said, helped her daughter become even more excited about her upcoming ballet and tap recital for her dance school, Plies, in Sikeston.

Mara's mother, Jennifer Hartzog of Dexter, Mo., said she brought her daughter to the ballet as part of a Girl Scout troop field trip. The troop was rewarded for selling cookies with a trip to the ballet instead of receiving prizes.

The Moscow Festival Ballet has never performed at the River Campus before. It is currently on a 17-week nationwide tour, and usually limits its performances to larger metropolitan areas.

According to box office officials, 729 tickets were sold and 623 people attended the performance.

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