Ballet Excel Ohio is getting ready for its upcoming performance of Tom Gold's "Beauty and the Beast" at the Akron Civic Theatre next month.
Based on the classic fairy tale, this story is about the relationship between an arrogant prince and a young maiden. When a fairy turns the prince into a beast, he grows to realize his love for Beauty and she in turn must overcome her fear and learn to love the Beast.
Ballet Excel Ohio is a pre-professional company of 38 girls and three boys who rehearse at Excellence in Dance Studio in Cuyahoga Falls. The ages of the dancers range from 8 to 18. Parents are responsible for props and costumes, and assist in other aspects for the troupe.
Noelle Boyages, 16, plays Beauty and is a student at Hudson High School. Noelle has been dancing for four years, with this being her third year in the company.
"My little sister had wanted to do ballet so I came and watched her and decided I wanted to start too," said Noelle. "I love playing Beauty because of her passion and the way she treats others."
Noelle plans on pursuing dance in the future.
Scotto Hamed-Ramos, 15, plays Beast and is a student at St. Vincent St. Mary High School. Scotto has been dancing for 12 years now.
"My favorite thing to do is perform," said Scotto. "All of my roles have also been playing scared or happy characters so it's nice to play someone mean and scary for once."
Scotto will be pursuing dance in the future.
Allison Mouse, 15, plays Beauty's mother and is a student at Hudson High School. Allison has been dancing for 13 years.
"I see this company as a wonderful opportunity," said Allison. "My role is challenging because it involves more acting than I have done in the past."
Allison plans to minor in dance when she attends college.
Grace Goldenberg, 18, plays Beast's mother and is also a chandelier in the performance.
"I was so excited when I found out we would be performing 'Beauty and the Beast' because I love the story," said Goldenberg. "I have been dancing for 13 years and would like to dance as much as I can in the future."
Goldenberg is a senior at Copley High School.
Tom Gold, writer of the play, is an internationally known dancer and choreographer. He has been a soloist for the New York City Ballet for 21 years.
"Watching the kids' development is always fun and exciting," said Gold. "My goal is to make the dancer in front of me shine and thrive. They all are special and have something unique to offer."
Ballet Excel Ohio will perform "Beauty and the Beast" March 15 and 16 at The Akron Civic Theatre, 182 S. Main Street, Akron. Shows are at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. on March 15, and 2:30 p.m. on March 16.
In addition to the ballet, Ballet Excel Ohio also will host a tea party at 1 p.m. on both performance dates.
For details, call 330-524-3400 or visit www.balletexcelohio.org online. For tickets, call the Akron Civic Theatre at 330-253-2488.
Phone: 330-541-9400 ext 4163