Emerald Ballet Theatre’s mission statement reads, “Where dancing hearts are nurtured, and bodies are honed into instruments of strength and beauty.” This demands clichés to be broken. While ballet’s beauty has long stood in the popular eye as a construct of grace and femininity, strength often times slips away from the casual viewer’s notice. Emerald Ballet Theatre (EBT) is thrilled to present Coppélia, a performance focused on two lovers and an elusive figure that comes between them. Taking the lead will be two of the city’s top dancers, Mckenzie Wilson and Ryan Hong; both of Woodinville. While the ballet is quintessential romance, its eccentricities like dancing dolls and a zealous toymaker give the show a quality reminiscent of Shakespeare’s, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”
Set to music by Léo Delibes, the lighthearted and uplifting ballet is a phenomenal experience for ballet fans of all ages.
Students from Emerald Ballet Academy which won the 2018 Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP) Outstanding School award will be featured in this production. Both Mckenzie and Ryan are from Emerald Ballet Academy (EBA)
Mckenzie, who is 14-year-old student at Northshore Middle School will be playing the role of Swanilda on Saturday, May 18. “When I was little, I thought pointe shoes were amazing! And I loved the challenge of ballet, said Mckenzie. She enjoys pushing herself physically and expressing herself in unique ways when she’s on the stage. “My favorite thing about performing is using my technique to portray a character and their emotions in a story.”
Mckenzie has been honored in the Top 12 at the Seattle YAGP Youth Semi-Finals for the past five years. She’s also been dancing ballet for a dozen setting her start-date back to when she was only two-years-old. In January, she was awarded 1st place in the Junior Classical category. She has also competed as a soloist in the YAGP New York Finals in 2018 and 2019. Mckenzie attended the School of American Ballet summer intensive for the past two years and will be returning to SAB again this summer.
Ryan seemed to be embracing EBT’s message when he said, “I have been dancing for 8 years. My older sister danced ballet, so I went to a few ballet performances with my family and saw a couple male dancers doing some insane jumps and tricks.” He continued, “Ballet is more athletic than most people think, and it takes a huge amount of focus and energy. I have also played soccer, baseball, and football. If you want to be good at ballet, you have to be a good athlete.” Ryan went on to explain that he thinks expressing yourself physically through something like ballet is exceptional because of its historical importance. “It keeps ballet tradition around that’s been around for hundreds of years,” he said.
When Mckenzie gets a little older, she wants to be a professional dancer. She’s already amassed such an amazing career her future is in a constant state of realization. “My goal is to be a professional dancer, wherever I may end up.” “New York City Ballet is one my dream companies and I’m excited to be attending their school, The School of American Ballet, this summer.”
If attending the Saturday performance, kids are invited to dress up and bring their favorite doll or toy. They will get a special backstage tour and be part of a special tea party. They will all get complimentary juice boxes and cookies in the lobby and then have the opportunity to take pictures with performers all while being taught basic theater etiquette.
Coppélia will be presented by EBT on May 18 and 19 at 2 P.M. at the Northshore Performing Arts Center (NPAC) in Bothell.Visit emeraldballet.org for more information