Two performances of 'Peter and the Wolf' slated for Thursday

The cat is among the animals portrayed in "Peter and the Wolf." The Victoria Symphony and Victoria Ballet Theatre will perform the play for Victoria school children Thursday.
  • HELPING THE TEACHERSTeaching guides that supplement the "Peter and the Wolf" performance are available online. Download them at www.victoria symphony.com/patw_teachersguide.aspx.

It's a story that first got its start in the 1930s, with a young boy, a slew of animals and, of course, a big, bad wolf.

And, on Thursday, it comes to life in the Crossroads.

The Victoria Symphony and Victoria Ballet Theatre will collaborate on two performances of "Peter and the Wolf."

All Victoria school district fifth-graders will attend the event, which is spearheaded by the symphony, said Michelle Hall, the symphony's executive director. The event is also open to other students in kindergarten through fifth grade.

It all begins with a presentation about the different instruments the students will hear and the themes that apply to each character, Hall said.

"It's an excellent learning opportunity for the students to experience both the orchestra and dance," she said, adding that Theatre Victoria also partnered with the groups to provide narration. "It all comes together."

Dance rehearsals began in January for the junior company members, and about 20 dancers in total are involved, said Brenda Tally, artistic director with the Victoria Ballet Theatre.

"They work really hard, lots of hours," Tally said. "They meet about four or so hours a week. And that's on top of their training, which they do daily."

The event marks the first time the ballet theater and symphony will perform in the Victoria school district's new Fine Arts Center, Hall said, and the facility offers several benefits.

The larger stage means the organizations no longer need to worry about stage extensions, she said. The site also boasts a backstage area.

"We had a great relationship with Victoria College and still enjoy that facility," Hall said. "But the new one offers new things to make our experience and the audience's experience more comfortable."

The performance is good for all involved, Tally said.

"It's really a great opportunity for the dancers to be able to perform to live music," she said. "It's a great collaboration. It's wonderful for the audience, too."