'Paquita' is summer offering from Peoria Ballet

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Peoria Ballet will present the ballet "Paquita" as its 2012 Summer Intensive performance at 6 p.m. Sunday at Riverside Community Church in downtown Peoria, the former Shrine Mosque.

A variety of original choreographed dances also will be performed during the event, which is offered free of charge so the entire community can enjoy it.

Peoria Ballet's Summer Intensive program included five weeks of concentrated ballet training with guest instructors from the Joffrey Ballet, the Luna Negra Dance Theater, and a musical theater professional from New York City.

The performance will include works by Ariel Cisneros, Victoria Vargas, Todd Michael Cook, Liz Curtin Rogers, as well as Peoria Ballet's staff. It will conclude with "Paquita" set by the Peoria Ballet's artistic director, Servy Gallardo.

Performing in the former Shrine Mosque is reviving a piece of the Peoria Ballet's own history, the Ballet said in a news release. In 1966, the Ballet's first performance was held at the Shrine Mosque, marking the beginning of its 46 year history and relationship with the Peoria community, it said.

"We are excited to bring Peoria Ballet back to its roots and we invite everyone to come enjoy the hard work our students have put in," said Tamra Challacombe, academy director.

The mission of the Peoria Ballet is to provide "art that moves" through high-quality dance instruction and stimulating performances. Peoria Ballet desires to improve upon and touch the Peoria area public with productions that stir the soul and inspire young art lovers.

The academy provides lecture demonstrations for several thousand schoolchildren and more than 49 different dance classes for students of all ages and ability levels.

About the Author
Paul Gordon is the editor of The Peorian after spending 29 years of indentured servitude at the Peoria Journal Star. He’s an award-winning writer, raconteur and song-and-dance man. He also went to a high school whose team name is the Alices (that’s Vincennes Lincoln High School in Indiana; you can look it up).