CSM’s Fine Arts Center Presents ‘The Ballet Project’ in Collaboration with Ballet Arts Academy April 18

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The College of Southern Maryland’s Fine Arts Center presents “The Ballet Project” in collaboration with the Ballet Arts Academy under the artistic direction of Oscar Hawkins, April 18 at the La Plata Campus.

Performances will include Troy Brown from the Pacific Northwest Ballet Company, dancing Asaf Messerer’s classic “Spring Waters.” Principal dancer with the Ballet of San Jose, Maria Jacobs and Hawkins will perform the pas de deux from “Paquita.” Local choreographer Derrick Sellers will premiere “The Entity.” International dancer Bat Udval will perform a piece from “Sleeping Beauty” and Hawkins will perform his acclaimed original piece “Strange Fruit,” to the vocals of Billie Holiday.

In his first year as artistic director of “The Ballet Project,” Hawkins is excited about the talented dancers performing in the show.  “Dance is an important artistic medium. It provides a voice to the people and an outlet for creative expression to reflect the times or embrace the past,” said Hawkins. “I also feel that exposure to dance is important for children. It teaches them discipline, thus providing them with a great work ethic which is transferable to all aspects of their lives, “he added.

In addition to professional performers, students from the Ballet Arts Academy will showcase their talents. Hawkins said of his students,”They work long hours and are dedicated to their craft, and this show gives them a chance to share the stage with some of the top dancers in the country.”

“The Ballet Project” was conceived by Ballet Arts Academy Founder Jayne Stefani-Keating. The project includes not only the performances, but also a question-and-answer session with the artists after the show, when artists can give audience members an understanding of the dedication, time requirements and training needed to become a professional dancer.

The Ballet Project will begin at 8 p.m., April 18. Tickets are $5. For information or reservations, contact the Box Office at 301-934-7828, 301-870-2309, 240-725-5499 or 443-550-6199, Ext 7828, bxoffc@csmd.edu or www.csmd.edu/finearts.

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