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Victoria Ballet Theatre leaps toward new season (video)

Camille Doty

By Camille Doty
Aug. 28, 2012 at 3:28 a.m.
Updated Aug. 29, 2012 at 3:29 a.m.

Members of the senior company of the Victoria Ballet Theatre run through a dance they learned from guest choreographer Deanna Carter at the studio on Aug. 10. Season tickets are currently available for the coming year and tickets for individual shows go on sale Oct. 1.

Dancers exude grace and agility as they practice at the Victoria Ballet Theatre.

"It's like training for the Olympics. You need that kind of focus," said Brenda Serrata Tally, artistic director.

Membership in the Victoria dance company has leaped from 40 to 60 members for the 2012-13 season.

Tally said the young ladies and gentlemen serve as exemplary ambassadors for the troupe as well as the community. Their drive and positive attitudes transcend beyond the center stage.

Some of the new dancers have joined based on their experience with the members, she added.

The company is made up of dancers ages 10 through adult. Dancers are divided into one of four groups based on skills and ages from junior apprentice to senior company. Upper level dancers train daily and rehearse on the weekend.

This motivated ensemble keeps on the ball preparing for the productions.

They have begun preparing for this season's performances

Artistic Director Dominic Walsh will work with the dancers on Sept. 28 and 29 to help choreograph an original piece for them.

Tally said she's excited to have the Houston-based dancer work with them.

"This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our dancers to work with a choreographer of his caliber," she said.

Walsh's dance theater will visit Victoria on Nov. 3 for a concert.

Other performances include "The Nutcracker," on Dec. 6-9 and the Spring Gala, "Don Quixote Suite" on March 23.

Community and city support gives the members and supporters the opportunity to be exposed to acclaimed professionals, Tally said.

The group was allocated $67,565 in hotel occupancy tax funds by the city council for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1.

To help prepare for the season, internationally known choreographers Deanna Carter and Susan Trevino worked with the dancers in early August.

Carter, an assistant professor at the University of Iowa, has trained with dance companies in Europe and Mexico.

Trevino and her husband have been the co-directors of The Joffrey Workshop in San Antonio since 1978.

Her tour credits include the involvement with more than 100 original works and various theater productions throughout the United States, Canada and Japan.

"They are a wonderful group of kids who love to dance," Trevino said.

Dancer Haley Grantland described the visiting choreographer as helpful and entertaining.

"I like her sense of humor," Haley said.

The 12-year-old Industrial student said the rehearsals allow her to learn and spend time with friends.

Paisley Humpert, 11, said she creates new goals to keep improving her skills.

"I try to think of the good and get there," she said.

Tally, who studied with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center, encourages the students to develop their skills through practice.

She compared the dancers to human instruments who need fine-tuning.

"It's not about where you begin, but where you land when you take the journey," Tally said.



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