By Tara Bennett
Baton Rouge Ballet Theatre (BRBT) will close its 2013-2014 season with a magical production of Winthrop Corey’s original ballet “Snow White,” featuring guest ballerina Meredith Broussard, who will dance as the fairest of them all.
“I think it’s a beautiful production,” said Broussard. “Corey’s choreography goes very well with the music and it helps portrays the characters as well. It’s a lot of fun.”
The seven dwarves, a handsome prince and of course the wicked Queen will all appear alongside Broussard as the ballet graces the stage for two performances on Saturday, April 5 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, April 6 at 2 p.m. at the River Center Theatre for the Performing Arts.
“Meredith is just beautiful,” said Molly Buchmann, artistic director of Baton Rouge Ballet Theatre. “She was blessed with a beautiful facility for dance, and this gave her a head start in her training, something most dancers work hard to achieve, but more than that she has a beautiful quality to her movement.”
A native of Baton Rouge, Broussard is a former BRBT company member who studied for two years at the Joffrey Ballet School in Chicago, and has danced with the Texas Ballet in Dallas. Currently, Broussard resides in New York City where she works as a freelance dancer.
“She has definitely proved herself to be a beautiful professional dancer who’s grown a lot since leaving Baton Rouge,” said Buchmann.
According to Buchmann, Broussard was the perfect choice to play Snow White as Broussard personifies the graceful and kind princess.
“She is Snow White,” said Buchmann. “She is a lovely dancer and a lovely person, and her warmth and beauty fill the stage.”
To prepare for the role, Broussard worked with private coaches in New York, and started rehearsing for the role extensively when she returned to Baton Rouge two weeks ago. Broussard also watched the Disney animated version of “Snow White” to assist in embodying the character.
“It’s pretty amazing to be able to take on a different personality onstage, and it’s nice because she’s such a happy go lucky kind of girl,” said Broussard. “It’s really nice to get to explore that character.”
Dancing alongside Broussard will be guest dancer Brian Ghepart who will perform in the role of Snow White’s Prince. A native of North Carolina, Ghepart has danced with the Houston Ballet II, the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago and the Atlantic Ballet Theater of Canada. Currently he lives in New York City and dances for the MorDance ballet company.
“They’re great friends,” said Buchmann. “It’s going to be wonderful onstage.”
Local talent for the show includes Rebecca Acosta as the Wicked Witch, Jonna Cox as Lead Wood Nymph and selected youth members of the company as the seven dwarves.
Coming to Baton Rouge was significant to Broussard, who had to imagine her fellow dancers were with her as she rehearsed in New York. Returning to Baton Rouge not only helped her technique, but she was coming back to her family as well.
“It’s such a joy to work with them,” said Broussard. “When I have all my friends around we get to communicate together onstage. It’s always nice to dance with your friends; makes everything a lot more fun.”
After the curtain has fallen, the fairy tale will continue on in a special reception celebrating Snow White’s wedding after Sunday’s performance. Children young and old will have a chance to meet Snow White and her fellow dancers while enjoying wedding cake, crafts and, of course, dancing. Advanced reservations to the reception are required with tickets at $25, which includes a VIP parking pass to the production. Tickets for the reception are sold separately from the performance. There is a limited amount of tickets, which can be purchased through the BRBT.
“It’ll be a wonderful event for the children to come visit Snow White, the prince and the other characters,” said Buchmann.
Tickets are now on sale with prices ranging from $20 to $35. Tickets may be purchased by calling the BRBT at 225-766-8379 or by going online at ticketmaster.com.