“A Christmas Carol”

HGCBT Breathes Life and Beauty into a Timeless Classic

 

The word most heard in the lobby after both performances was “Wow!” 

Even audience members who have regularly attended HGCBT performances were transfixed by the completeness of “A Christmas Carol.” Every facet of the show was at least well done and showed the experience and maturity of this burgeoning ballet company.

Fran Ichijo’s always creative story telling and choreography were brilliant, delicately conveying the written word with only movement and emotion. Her keen awareness of the abilities of the troupe members shows in how she sculpts the choreography for the strengths and talents of each dancer, challenging them to do their best, and allowing each one to succeed in stunning fashion.

And no one was more stunning than Ebenezer Scrooge, played by Dustin Kimball. A professional dancer as well as an instructor at Hope Garden Ballet Academy, Mr. Kimball danced with an appropriately reserved athleticism while expertly displaying the conflicting emotions that make this character so intriguing. He proved to every member of the audience that to be a great dancer you need to be a great actor.

The three spirits were wonderfully represented by veterans of Poolesville’s ballet community. Rene Terragno’s whispy lightness and innocence made for a delightful Ghost of Christmas Past, while Veronica Contreras mischievously portrayed the cavalier joy and mirth of Ghost of Christmas Present. Claire Jones, an instructor and former student at Hope Garden Ballet Academy, hushed the audience with her powerful display of taught despair and abject sorrow as the Ghost of Christmas Future.

A captivating performance was also turned in by Suzanne Creedon, playing Isabelle, young Scrooge’s fiancée, who in a heart breaking number is spurned by young Scrooge when his head is turned by his lust for Gold, crisply portrayed by Jenna Feely.

The pageantry of Christmas was on full display when Scrooge marveled at the joy of the season, presented as the colors of Christmas. This series of dances provided the ideal opportunity to show off the wonderful talents of Hannah Wills, dancing as White, Camilla Feely and Ellie Creedon as Candy Canes, Kimora Maier as Silver, and Tomoha Terada, on loan from the Kirov Academy, as Gold. In all over 70 dancers, most of them local to the Poolesville area, contributed to a polished and lush performance.

The stagecraft was also dazzling. Wonderful costumes helped the individual characters come to life, and the detailed sets, expressive lighting, and exciting special effects created the look and feel needed to let the viewer melt comfortably into another time and place. The beautiful and sometimes haunting music of French composer Claude Debussy was the final piece to an intricate puzzle that rendered a seamless holiday experience. This wonderfully entertaining performance is destined to become a Poolesville holiday tradition!

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Over 1,000 photos of the performance, taken by noted performance photographer Paolo Galli, are available for review and purchase on Paolo's website.