Ballet and Symphony at the Clay Center this April

Peter and WolfA collaboration between the River City Youth Ballet and the West Virginian Symphony will be staged on Tuesday, April 7, 2009 at the Clay Center. “Peter and the Wolf” will start the ball rolling at 7pm, followed by “The Magical Toyshop.”

Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf” is a story spoken by a narrator accompanied by the orchestra which represents each dancing character with a particular instrument and musical theme. Sergei Prokofiev was commissioned by the Central Children’s Theatre in Moscow in 1936 to write this musical symphony specifically to cultivate musical tastes in children. Decades later his playful classic consistently delights and inspires children and adults of all ages.

A second ballet, “The Magical Toyshop,” also will be performed that evening. It is loosely based on the ballet, “La Boutique Fantasque,” and uses a wide variety of music to tell the story of a toyshop owner and his granddaughter who protests when he throws away a rag doll that is beyond repair. When she sneaks downstairs to retrieve the discarded doll, the toys in the shop magically come to life. Reserved seating for both show, tickets from $11 to $21. Call the Clay Center Box Office at (304) 561-3570.

The River City Youth Ballet Ensemble was named West Virginia’s Official Youth Ballet by the Legislature in 2007. It was founded to give talented young dancers an opportunity to learn and grow in the performing arts by providing students with a sound, quality dance education and a forum to share their talents with the community.

The West Virginia Youth Symphony consists of more than 90 members, including players from Ohio, Kentucky, and seven counties in West Virginia. It is a non-profit arts organization that supports five music ensembles and numerous chamber groups. Its mission is to provide excellent instrumental instruction and opportunities to present quality performances.