Above photo: Keita Fujishma. Ellison Ballet had its Spring Showcase this past weekend at the Manhattan Movement and Arts Center. The annual event showcased the talents of the school’s 33 students and served as a farewell graduation event. This year’s graduating class consisted of the following dancers and their destinations for next year:
Elisabeth Beyer-American Ballet Theatre Studio Company
Charles Clinton-Sarasota Ballet
Kouadio Davis-Dance Theatre of Harlem
Melanie Wells-Sarasota Ballet
Hiroto Yamaguchi-Ballet of South Bohemian Theatre
Sabrina Yap-Tulsa Ballet II
After a speech from Artistic Director Edward Ellison, dancers presented short works primarily from the classics with a few modern works. Dancing from the teenagers was at a high level, with substantial stage presence. For example:
- Keita Fujishma in La Esmeralda Variation of Acteon: Keita gave a high flying solo with several big split cabrioles and an innovative turn section consisting of a turn in second position followed by attitude turns, pulling into retiré position for a total of seven turns. Keita is a talented turner, capable of effortless turns.
- Maicon Esperidião de Oliveira, a 21-year old Brazilian, has a bright future in choreography. His work Arrows from Beyond was fast-paced, with plenty of nuance. He also danced in the lead role in this modern/ballet fusion work.
- `Alicia Rose Couvrette in Origin excelled in this contemporary work danced with great emotion.
- Kohki Todi in the Basil variation from Don Quixote exhibited great control on his turns and excellent beat steps.
- Madison Yeung in the Lise variation from La Fille Mal Gardée demonstrated her gorgeous extension and controlled turns.
Graduates from Ellison Ballet can be found in leading companies such as ABT, Mariinsky Ballet, Paris Opera Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, and Mikhailovsky Ballet.