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Central West takes on 'New Creations' with an eye on becoming a professional company

In their next program, "A Dance Evening of New Creations," Central West Ballet dancers will perform works as challenging as anything seen in big-city companies.

That's according to Artistic Director René Daveluy, who choreographed the show and has danced with high-level groups. "It's time for the company to move into the big leagues, both in Modesto and on a national level," he said.

Made up mostly of adolescents, the 20-year-old group is moving into the Gallo Center for the Arts at the end of the year and hopes to eventually turn professional.

The "New Creations" program will consist of a few short pieces, including "Of Fairies and Elves," a classical-style ballet inspired by Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream;" "Canvas Emotions," a modern work; and "Nature's Rite," a neoclassical number the dancers performed at Disneyland last summer.

The fairy piece will feature costumes by English designer David Walker that cost $5,000 each to purchase. Central West rented them from another ballet production and Daveluy said it's a great honor for the dancers to wear the costumes.

"Canvas Emotions" is the most physically demanding piece on the program.

"It's a first for Central West Ballet to do a contemporary work that is just as difficult and as body wrecking as what you see in all the biggest companies in the world," Daveluy said.

Daveluy said the dancers are mastering the steps and will be ready to work with guest professional choreographers in the future.

"Nature's Rite" is similar to the type of work produced by the great choreographer George Balanchine.

"It's minimalist in costume, clean and proper looking," Daveluy said. "This time, it's really getting the dancers to kind of reset themselves for the end of the evening."

The dancers at Central West Ballet have met the high bar Daveluy has set and are ready to show their talents to the community, he said. Audience members may be surprised at their skills.

"If they really want to see something that will knock their socks off, then they should come and see this show at Johansen High School," he said. "It's a small auditorium, but the show itself is bigger. It's a show that's made for a huge stage."

WHAT: "A Dance Evening of New Creations"

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. March 2-3 and 2 p.m. March 4

WHERE: Johansen High School, 641 Norseman Drive, Modesto

TICKETS: $15-$30

CALL: 576-0808