Thursday June 21, 2018
Hannah Larson, a senior at South Burlington High School, performs in Elan Ballet Theatre’s production of “La Bayadere,” Saturday and Sunday, June 23 and 24, 3:30 p.m., at the Mount Mansfield Union High School auditorium in Jericho. A Russian classic, “La Bayadere” is described by the Metropolitan Opera as a glorious epic of eternal love and godly revenge. A ballet in four acts, it tells the tragic love story of a temple dancer (bayadère) named Nikiya and the warrior Solor.
Larson dances the role of Gamzatti, the Rajah’s daughter who is betrothed to Solor. Elan’s Artistic Director Alyssa Pettingill says the part offers incredible opportunities to play a strong and conniving leading lady. “It requires a complex range of emotion, as well as the technical aplomb to tackle the fouettes in the Engagement Celebration coda, as well as the virtuosity for two demanding, yet different variations.”
This is not the first leading role Larson has performed with Elan Ballet Theatre, which is located in Essex Junction. She danced Princess Aurora in “Sleeping Beauty” and The Sugar Plum Fairy in “Clara Dreams,” Elan’s annual “Nutcracker” production.
Since 2010, Larson has studied classical ballet and contemporary dance under the tutelage of Pettingill, a former ballerina with the Seacoast Ballet and the Milwaukee Ballet. During her time with Pettingill, Larson has competed at Youth America Grand Prix, won the division title at Diva Dance, and was accepted to Gelsey Kirkland’s Academy in New York City where she was offered a year round position in their pre-professional program.
“Alyssa is a true inspiration for all the dancers at Elan. She pushes me to be a better dancer as well as a better person,” says Larson, adding, “I have been given incredible opportunities during my time as a dancer there.”
Pettingill speaks highly of her senior student. “Hannah has been inspiration to our younger dancers and proves what one can achieve with hard work and determination. She has grown tremendously as a dancer and as a performer over the years, and her senior performance as Gamzatti is a glorious example of what she has achieved as an artist. I couldn’t be prouder of what she has accomplished.”
This fall, Larson will be attending Boston’s Simmons College, where she received the Dean’s Scholarship. In the meantime, she dances “La Bayadere.” Pettingill adds, “This ballet has been a huge undertaking, but it is an absolute labor of love, and I am so proud of each and every one of my dancers for bringing their hard work and passion. It is truly magical when something this special comes together, it’s amazing actually, and an absolute honor to share this glorious art form with so many.”
For more information about the production and tickets, which are also available at the door, visit www.facebook.com/elanacademyofclassicalballet.