Two leading dancers in Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet’s most recent performance of “George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker” will take on the role of Princess Aurora in upcoming productions of “The Sleeping Beauty.”
Both Alyssa Schroeder and Madeline Rogers will share duties as the leading ladies in CPYB’s production that will run from April 8 to 9 at the Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts in Harrisburg.
Alyssa is 16 years old and relocated from Portland, Oregon, to study at CPYB for the past four years. Madeline is 13 years old and an eight-grade student at Commonwealth Charter Academy.
Alyssa will play Aurora in the 1 p.m. April 8 and 2 p.m. April 9 showings, while Madeline will be onstage during the 7 p.m. April 8 performance.
And while the two are in the principal role, they will hardly be alone on stage. Alan Hineline’s production of “The Sleeping Beauty” includes 139 individual roles, with students putting in 20-plus rehearsal hours per week for seven weeks leading up to production.
“The ballet offers some of the greatest athletic and technical challenges in the classical ballet repertoire, and I’m excited to bring this ballet to life for our audiences with the incredible dancers of CPYB,” said Hineline, CPYB’s director of artistic programming.
“Alan’s ‘Beauty’ is a show of brilliant dancing, lavish sets and costumes, and extraordinary music all coming together to create one of the greatest dramas of all time,” said Founding Artistic Director Marcia Dale Weary. “It’s an ageless story for all ages to enjoy.”
Though it will be the hard work of the students who take center stage in early April, they’ll get help from some important supporting players.
While the students rehearse the choreography, CPYB’s Wardrobe Department has been preparing the 139 individual costumes that will appear in the three-act ballet.
According to CPYB, many of the costumes consist of multiple garments, accessories and a headpiece to complete the look. The department must also take into account that many of the roles are danced by different dancers during the two-day run of the show.
New this year is a newly envisioned Carabosse costume and two redesigned Princess Aurora tutus, as well as a new outfit for the Prince of the North.
The Fairy Cararbosse received a new look to better fit the character, and now she’s bedecked in satin, lace, chiffon, organza, metallic brocade and trims in a Tudor-inspired royal outfit complete with a hand-designed tiara with more than 350 gems.
Aurora’s new costumes will be featured in the birthday and wedding scenes, with both being custom-made in the department.
The reason for the last new costume is one of practicality. The previous costume had degraded and was riddled with too many holes to bring back to life for the 2017 production. So, the Prince of the North will be sporting the newest costume as he vies with three other suitors in the “Rose Adagio” dance.
Tickets for performances range from $20 to $43 and can be purchased by calling 717-214-ARTS (2787), visiting whitakercenter.org or by arriving in person at the Whitaker Center, 222 Market St., Harrisburg.