‘Into The Woods’ like you’ve never seen it before: BADA presents Broadway, box office hit as a ballet

The cast of Burlington Academy of Dance & Arts (BADA) "Into The Woods" ballet poses for a recent photo. / Bob Stuart Photography

Commentary by Abby Chester
Times-News correspondent

   For inspiration for this year’s ballet, the Burlington Academy of Dance and Arts (BADA) owners Drew and Virginia DuPont, looked to the big screen.
The couple decided on the movie and Broadway musical “Into the Woods.” It is their favorite musical and because of the movie’s popularity, they decided to turn it into a ballet.
This is no ordinary ballet. Because the couple wanted to turn it in the direction of incorporating all of the arts, not just dance, they decided to take a step forward. Accompanying the dancers, 12 chosen singers will be the voices to the lead characters. This is BADA’s first step to completing its goal of honoring all the arts.
With 111 dancers and 12 singers, the ballet is sure to be different from the movie and musical, and even other ballets. First of all, because ballets are supposed to be stories told entirely through dance, with no words, this version of “Into the Woods” is already different. But in contrast with the movie or musical, this ballet mainly features dance to dialogue.
   Also, the DuPonts wanted to make their ballet more kid-friendly, since the original musical is best for more adult viewers. The idea of having singers is based on layers of good reason. With words and music, it makes the ballet more powerful.
The couple also felt that it would be important to include vocals because it would honor Stephen Sondheim, the creator and composer of the musical.
For Virginia DuPont, choreographing the ballet was not easy. She started the feat in early January, and cast the dancers in late January and early February. The singers were cast in late April and have been rehearsing since. Because no one has ever done a professional version of a ballet of “Into the Woods,” DuPont had to create the dances herself.
If you are interested in seeing this production, it will be at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. May 31, 2015, in McCrary Theatre on the Elon University campus. Tickets are $16 and can be purchased by calling (336) 584-6727 or visiting BADA, 3382 S. Church Street, Rosewood Village Shopping Center, Burlington.

 Abby Chester is a seventh-grader at Western Alamance Middle School and a Teens & Twenties writer.


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