Audience members are invited to “be our guest” when Central Illinois Ballet (CIB), in residence at Illinois Central College, presents its world premiere performance of Beauty and the Beast Sat., May 27 at 2 pm in the ICC Performing Arts Center, located on the East Peoria Campus.
Based on the classic Disney fairy tale, the show will transport audiences to an enchanted castle full of dancing teacups, flirty feather dusters and magical creatures.
“It has become a tradition to end our season each spring with a story book ballet,” said Rebekah Von Rathonyi, artistic director for CIB. “This year I am very excited to be directing such a heartwarming ballet with a strong female lead character. Belle (in our version Bella) is my daughter’s, and even my husband’s, favorite Disney princess. Also, Beauty and the Beast allows for the freedom to cast many different roles for our company members and academy students.”
Also appearing in Beauty and the Beast will be members of CIB’s senior and junior company ensemble, which is comprised of current students at Cornerstone Academy who are pursuing a career in professional dance. CIB productions offer these students the unique opportunity to dance alongside professional company members and learn firsthand what dancing in a professional company is like.
Central Illinois Ballet was formed from its official training school, Cornerstone Academy of Performing Arts, and had always been the vision of Von Rathonyi.
“Just as an orchestra needs professional musicians, Peoria needs professional dancers to heighten the quality of the performances,” she said. “A professional resident company elevates Peoria to the next level, inevitably increasing the standard of living in the community as a whole. Not only does our community benefit, but our students experience increased mentorship and witness the end result of what their hard work can accomplish.”
Central Illinois Ballet is supported as an in-residence ensemble by the Arts at ICC, which has a rich history of enhancing the arts community and expanding education beyond the classroom. Arts at ICC presents more than 500 exhibits, performances, lectures, rehearsals, meetings, master classes, clinics, seminars, receptions, orientations, forums, auditions and tournaments annually.
Beauty and the Beast is a family friendly ballet that encourages audience members to engage and participate in the action throughout the show. There is assigned seating with premiere and general seating sections. Premiere seating is priced at $25 for adults and $12 for students. General seating costs $18 for adults and $12 for students.
Tickets are available at ciballet.com, and in person at Cornerstone/CIB’s facility at 3117 N. Prospect Road in Peoria.