Theatre Ballet’s production Carnival of the Animals has arrived with all-new costuming and Victorian circus whimsy. Director Shayla Bott based this full-length ballet on the enchanting musical suite by Camille Saint-Saëns. Along with choreographer Ashley Parov, Bott has created a magical experience that includes elephant puppets and a larger-than-life bear. The show, which features juggling and the group’s world-class dancing, will appeal to audiences of all ages- ballet aficionados and novices alike.
Bott drew up compelling new characters to aid in converting the original piece of music into a cohesive story. The artful narrative begins when three children wander into the forest during a stormy night. They find shelter in an old circus pavilion and soon meet and old lady and a juggler- who transform into a young carnival master and giant bear, respectively. Then toys from an old trunk morph into life-size dancers, and the children follow suit by becoming ballet dancers and sashaying into the world of the circus.
Company member London Stringham, who portrays the Carnival Master, says, “I love the new show because it features many elements that you don’t usually see in ballet.” She hoped the children in the audience will especially enjoy the performance, as it is more engaging than a classical ballet.
In addition to the performance, Theatre Ballet hosts a pre-show Prince and Princess Party, in which the children are invited to come dressed in costumes and meet the BYU dancers.
All in All, this innovative production of Carnival of the Animals is a day at the circus you won’t want to miss.