Showcase a delectable Christmas treat

By By Sofia Strempek

By Sofia Strempek

Students in the ballet department are working like elves, busily preparing their Christmas present for the U. This weekend, Ballet Ensemble will showcase four choreographic works8212;three new pieces and one dating from the late 19th century8212;in the Hayes-Christensen Theatre at the Marriott Center for Dance.

For those who lust after decadent chocolates in their stockings, an excerpt from La Bayadère will be a treat. This classical ballet romanticizes movement. Delicate tilts of the head and smooth gliding across the stage physically captures the “sugar plum” dreams that occur in your sweet slumber.

Artistic director of the ballet department Carol Iwasaki, and professor Maureen Laird will both premiere new works in Ballet Ensemble. Laird’s classical dance merges well with Iwasaki’s more modern movement. The evolution of dance style throughout the night creates an easy shift to the choreography of guest artist Mark Harootian.

As a special guest, Harootian brings his gifts and talents back to the U. A graduate from the U’s ballet department who now dances and choreographs for Festival Ballet Providence in Rhode Island, Harootian returned to the U to create a work for the students of the department. Here is a dance more suitable for people whose holiday wish list includes “Guitar Hero” or the “New Moon” soundtrack8212;classical elegance is modernized, as dancers turn in their feet and move to a modern beat.

As you warm your stomach with holiday treats, rekindle your inner child with the winter Ballet Ensemble performance. If the coming of snow signals “Nutcracker” for you, ease your craving for tights and tutus with a more versatile and extremely nourishing performance.

[email protected]

Richard Payson

Lynsie Ogden dances center stage during a classic ballet piece titled La Bayadre. The ballet concert opens Thursday night at