Sarasota, FL (January 14th, 2020) – Port Charlotte Elementary schools will enjoy a special presentation of ballet when dancers from The Sarasota Ballet School take center stage at the Charlotte Performing Arts Center on January 29th, 2020. The performances will tell the story of Gwendolyn, the Graceful Pig, authored by David Ira Rottenberg, who will read his book at the performances. At the two performances, the dancers will bring the book to life through special choreography. Following the presentation, the dancers and Mr. Rottenberg will answer questions from the audience.
“Reaching young children in the local community is a priority for The Sarasota Ballet,” enthuses Christopher Hird, Education Director. “Nothing pleases us more than the opportunity to partner with artists in other genres, so working with Mr. Rottenberg is a perfect way to educate young children about the joys of ballet and reading.”
Ellen Harvey, Curriculum Specialist for Fine Arts, for the Charlotte County Public Schools, is delighted that dance will be featured in the County for the first time. “We don’t have dance in any of our schools, so this is a special opportunity for our community,” says Harvey. “The students are busy reading the Gwendolyn books and are very excited about the upcoming performances. The arts can expand our young students’ minds and thrill their hearts. We’re lucky to have the Charlotte Performing Arts Center as a resource.”
Rottenberg has been presenting Gwendolyn, the Graceful Pig in libraries and elementary schools all over the USA from Maine to Nevada. “The combination of story and dance works well with children,” Rottenberg states. “Children have a natural connection to both and are very excited to see real dancers and an author. They get to listen and watch the story unfold through dance. It’s quite fun.”
The Sarasota Ballet School has already given 12 performances of Gwendolyn, the Graceful Pig throughout Sarasota and Manatee Counties in October 2019. “Of all the locations I have presented Gwendolyn, the dancers of The Sarasota Ballet School have been the most talented and told the story the best,” says Rottenberg.
Hird is excited to present these performances now with the young children of Charlotte County. “Introducing these students to the beautiful world of ballet allows them to appreciate the arts in a new way, and we hope to inspire the children to make dance a regular part of their lives.”
About The Sarasota Ballet
Since 1990, the mission of The Sarasota Ballet has been enriching lives, captivating emotions, and strengthening the community through the art of dance. Under the leadership of Director Iain Webb, Executive Director Joseph Volpe, and Assistant Director Margaret Barbieri, The Sarasota Ballet has received national and international recognition for its diverse repertoire of rarely performed ballets, as well as the integrity and artistry of its performances. The Company’s expanded repertoire includes works by world-renowned choreographers such as Sir Frederick Ashton, George Balanchine, Sir Matthew Bourne, Dame Ninette de Valois, Michel Fokine, Sir Kenneth MacMillan, Rudolf Nureyev, Jerome Robbins, Paul Taylor, Twyla Tharp, Antony Tudor, and Christopher Wheeldon. During Webb’s tenure, The Sarasota Ballet has been invited to perform twice at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and twice at the Fall for Dance Festival at New York City Center, as well as week-long residencies at the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival and the Joyce Theater in New York. In May 2017 The Sarasota Ballet performed at the inaugural National Choreographic Festival in Salt Lake City and in August of 2018 returned to the Joyce Theater for another sold out week-long residency.
About The Author
David Ira Rottenberg graduated from Columbia University and is a writer of fiction, poetry, and the co-author of three business books. His poetry and articles have appeared in many magazines and newspapers. He is the author of the humorous young adult novel, Outside the Edges, and the fantasy children’s book, Margarita’s Star. Gwendolyn’s Nutty Nutcracker is the third book in his popular Gwendolyn series. Gwendolyn and her best friend, Omar, have danced their way through many adventures in Gwendolyn, the Graceful Pig and Gwendolyn Goes Hollywood.
Gwendolyn, the Graceful Pig
The story tells the tale of two friends, Gwendolyn and Omar, who have big dreams. Gwendolyn wants to be a ballerina and Omar wants to play football. There is just one problem — they’re both pigs!