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Delicate Balance celebrates natural world through dance

PLATTSBURGH The North Country Ballet Ensemble is using dance to share an environmental message with children at local schools. Over the last month, the Plattsburgh-based dance ensemble has been presenting A Delicate Balance to school-age audiences throughout the region. Set to the music of Saint Saens whimsical Carnival of the Animals, the ballet depicts a day in the life of the jungle, from dawn to dusk. Featuring lush backdrops and colorful costumes, the ballet features endangered species cavorting through a whimsical jungle. From golden tamarin monkeys and giant pandas to snow leopards and scarlet macaws, the ballet offers a hopeful message about living in harmony with the natural world. The program also features Making the Band, a hip-hop spoof on rock icons set to Israeli rap music and excerpts from the classical ballet Sleeping Beauty. For NCBE artistic director Deborah Guibord, taking ballet to children who otherwise may not have a chance to see the art form has long been a goal of hers. My dream as artistic director of a ballet company has been to go into schools, said Guibord. But in todays world, there is no funding. A grant from the New York State Council on the Arts helped to make the production possible. Still, the all-volunteer troupe has worked long hours to make the performances a reality hours that included rehearsing, set design and the physical set-up for each performance. However, if the reaction of the children is any indication, their hard work is very appreciated. At Cumberland Head, the kids were cheering the pandas on, laughed Guibord. My dream is working out, she added. Its exciting. Already, the ballet has been presented to children at Northeastern Clinton Central, Beekmantown Elementary, and Cumberland Head Elementary schools. Upcoming performances will include Peru Middle School, Stafford Middle School, Oak Street Elementary School, Seton Academy and area daycare centers. The public is invited to a performance at the State University of New York at Plattsburgh Hartman Theatre, Sunday, May 4 beginning at 2 p.m. Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for children 12 and younger and seniors 62 and older.

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