The story of the boy who never grew up has been around for decades. There have been multiple movie, play and musical adaptations, which have originated from J.M. Barrie’s story that was released in 1904. With a long history of creative renditions to the fantastical tale, it only made sense that Hope College’s Ballet Club would contribute with an original production entitled “Second Star to the Right.”
Elise Riddell, Emily Mejicano-Gormely and Jenny Lussenhop co-directed this ballet production in order to establish a one-of-a-kind masterpiece for the Hope student body and community to witness in the Dow Center Studio. The performances took place April 8 at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., as well as a 2:30 p.m. showing on April 9.
A 19 person cast and 10 choreographers were able to take the directors’ plans for the show and turn them into reality.
“Most choreographers that started early would have one hour of rehearsal a week, but some started later and needed 23 hours a week,” Meryn Creasman (’19), who plays Mrs. Darling and Tootles in the cast, said. “I am in five dances, so I was rehearsing anywhere from 37 hours a week.”
Everyone’s hard work paid off, as the production was visually stunning with the back drops, props, costumes and dances that characterized each scene. The production included a fair balance between charming character interactions and hilarious character quirks that kept audience members laughing and intrigued with the innovations to the storyline.
“I really liked seeing every one grow into their characters as the rehearsal process went on,” Creasman said. “It was fun seeing Emma Speers become Captain Hook and all the lost boys find their unique character traits.”
Michael and John Darling, Wendy’s brothers in the original story, were changed into the roles of Michelle and Jenna Darling in Hope’s production to add another unique characteristic to the show. There were elements oriented to the family audience as well, such as Tinker Bell throwing confetti and glow sticks given to audience members in order to save Tinker Bell. Many children sat eagerly in the front row, watching the performance with rapt attention.
“I like being in ballet club be cause it gives me the chance to do ballet without the obligation and stress of taking ballet for a credit,” Creasman said.
As the directors mentioned prior to the start of the show, some students involved had never taken ballet or a dance class before. Yet everyone on cast executed each dance move with ease, showcasing the growth made throughout the duration of the production.
The next dance event will take place on Friday, April 21. It is the Student Dance Showcase, which will be located at the Knickerbocker Theatre downtown. The showcase begins at 7:30 p.m. and is open to students, faculty and the public.