Monday, April 17, 2017

Introducing LPBC and Sweet Sorrow!

Hello everyone!

Some of you may know that I recently formed a nonprofit ballet company called Leigh Purtill Ballet Company. I did this because I wanted to create an opportunity for adult ballet dancers of all skill levels, backgrounds, and ages to perform; to present ballet to a diverse audience which might not normally seek out ballet performances; and to do what I can to foster ballet as an inclusive art form.

It is my belief that ballet is for everyone.

For eight years I have been developing an original ballet called SWEET SORROW which is loosely based on my novel of the same name. It's a sequel of sorts to Romeo & Juliet by William Shakespeare - which is why A ZOMBIE BALLET is its subtitle. Because Romeo and Juliet are dead.

Structurally, the ballet follows a similar trajectory to the classic Nutcracker, a winter holiday favorite and one that audiences are familiar with. But the story itself is a unique one: at the funeral for Romeo and Juliet, a strange woman raises the lovers from the dead with a potion. While others cringe and run away, only Juliet's cousin Rosaline is intrigued. In the cemetery, Rosaline meets the woman again who reveals herself to be Queen of the Zombies. She uses her horde of beautiful dead ballerinas to entice Rosaline to consume a potion and follow her to the Underworld, where she meets Vampires, Witches - and Romeo and Juliet.

We've performed small sections of this with various dancers, both modern and classical, and in various venues. Invariably the question from the audience is always the same: when is there going to be MORE?

The answer is: October 8, 2017 at 4PM and 7PM at the Lanterman Auditorium, a theater in La Canada not far from where I teach and rehearse. We are over-the-moon excited! Every single dancer involved has been magnanimous with his or her time, energy and resources. I am so proud to be presenting this passion project of mine with these wonderful people.

While SWEET SORROW is the first original production for LPBC, it will not be the only one. We have much more in store for our future!

Two weeks ago we launched an Indiegogo campaign to raise funds for theater rental, costumes, rehearsal space, and so on. We are a 501(c)(3) and all donations are tax-deductible. On our campaign page, you will see a trailer (created by Rachel Swetnam, our Juliet) and some stunning artwork (designed by Bill Reiss, our Romeo). We need to get the company up and running!

The campaign continues for another week. If you can donate, wonderful! If you can share the link and info, terrific! And if you're in town on October 8, I hope you'll make plans to see the show.

Thank you for your support. Happy dancing~

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