BERLIN – The Holmes Center for the Arts debuted the first of a trio of outdoor creative events titled Art Under the Stars to an enthusiastic crowd on June 18 in Community Park.
Severe weather damage, which left most of Holmes County without power last week, reduced the planned two-night event to a single night. But, as the old saying goes, “The show must go on.”
HCA Executive Director Holley Johnson called the magical show and “a breath of fresh air.”
“Three short-story ballets performed outside, complete with a wind effect that you just can’t reproduce seemed to make the night especially beautiful,” she said.
Working with HCA students, three guest choreographers led the dancers in favorite fairy tales — Thumbelina, Cinderella and Selkies — in a new and exhilarating way.
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Funded through grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Ohio Arts Council, HCA’s summer series is in partnership with the Berlin Main Street Merchants and the Holmes County District Public Library.
“The experience our students got in learning choreography from three different artists in a short amount of time and then performing was in line with what they could one day encounter in a professional ballet company,” Johnson said.
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The three choreographers, Katie Hershberger (Ohio Northern University), Hazel Alexander and Taryn Grassbaugh (University of Cincinnati) are alumni of the HCA who are furthering their dance careers in college.
“This was my first choreography project that portrayed a story, so it was super cool to actually see it come to life and see the dancers fully get into it,” Grassbaugh said.
“Coming back from not seeing these kids dance for a year and seeing how much they have improved, and being able to have them use their skills to get across what I was hoping for them was super special,” Grassbaugh continued. “They’re not the little dancers I remember them being last year. We definitely have a lot of potential dance-wise coming up in Holmes County.”
Johnson said it’s unfortunate more people didn’t get to see the show since the performance was limited to one because of the power outages.
“We hope to be able to find places to perform these same three pieces again,” she said.
Anyone interested in talking to Johnson about lining up a ballet performance should call 330-473-2879 or reach out through HCA’s website, holmescenterforthearts.org.
Under the Stars: Theater and music performances planned
To complete the summer series, July will see a two-night outdoor mystery theater, and August a Music Under the Stars event, both taking place in Community Park.
An evening of Theater Under the Stars will the audience involved in solving a murder mystery based on the old board game Clue. It is the second part of the Art Under the Stars series, which will take place at 8:30 pm on Friday and Saturday, July 8 and 9.
Ticket information and purchase options are available online holmescenterforthearts.org.
Music Under the Stars will feature the up-and-coming Nashville band, The Young Fables with pre-show performances by Low Gap on Friday, Aug. 5, and 39 West on Saturday, Aug. 6. Tickets are available online.