Start naming the classic ballets and there are a few that absolutely have to be on that list. One of them, “Swan Lake,” will be featured in performances this weekend by Rochester Dance Company.
But the other dances in the show called “Timeless Classics” might surprise you: Ballet pieces based on jazz music by Ella Fitzgerald, George Gershwin and Cole Porter.
Performances are Friday and Saturday, May 13 and 14, at Autumn Ridge Church.
When it comes to “Swan Lake,” said director Ted Sothern, “Most dancers know it, but they’ve never had a chance to do it.”
The performance will feature excerpts from the second act of “Swan Lake,” including the so-called “white dance.” “All the swans are in white and they all dance in unison,” Sothern said. “Everybody recognizes the four little swans. It’s one of the first things they are going to be doing en pointe. The dancers are getting a chance at that discipline.”
There are about 40 dancers in the show, and they come from different area dance schools, including Cannon Falls and Northfield.
“In their dance schools, they get to work on jazz and modern, as well as ballet,” Sothern said of the dancers. “But now they’re doing it as a company and it requires a different level of commitment.”
That’s in the second half of the show, which opens with “Fascinating Rhythm” and closes with “I’ve Got Rhythm.”
“We use ballet moves but add a little jazz, a more loose style, to create the feel and atmosphere,” Sothern said. “It’s really fun and upbeat.”
Each half of the show will last about 30 minutes.
If you go
What: “Timeless Classics” by Rochester Dance Company
When: 7 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. Saturday
Where: Autumn Ridge Church
Tickets: $10, available at the door