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Roxey Ballet presents “The Pied Piper of Hamelin” and “Carnival of the Animals”

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Roxey Ballet presents Children’s Classic Stories 2016 this Mother’s Day weekend featuring Pied Piper of Hamelin and Carnival of the Animals. Showcasing its international cast alongside 70 local dancers and students, both productions take place back-to-back on Mother’s Day weekend, May 7-8 at 1:00 p.m. at The College of New Jersey’s Kendall Hall.

“This is a truly special combination of performances as Pied Piper of Hamelin and Carnival of the Animals have become all-time favorites for both the performers and the audience of Roxey Ballet, so we’re particularly excited to bill them together under one ticket,” states Mark Roxey, Founding Director of Roxey Ballet.

Originally co-written by Stockton, New Jersey resident, Richard Jarboe and Los Angeles resident, Harvey Shield, The Pied Piper premiered as a musical theatre production in Los Angeles in 1984 at the Olio theater. In 1986 it moved Off-Broadway to the Circle-in-the-Square. Mark Roxey’s original choreographed version debuted as Pied Piper of Hamelin in 2002 at Villa Victoria Theater in Ewing, New Jersey.

As Roxey-who performs the role of Hamelin’s Mayor-describes it: “Our contemporary version of The Pied Piper is a zany romp through a notorious German folk tale with rock-opera style anthems and upbeat choreography.” The production recalls the story of the rat-catcher dressed in multicolored clothing hired by a medieval town to lure rats away with his magic pipe. When the townspeople refuse to pay for his service, he invokes the pipe’s power to lead the children away as he had the rats.

Carnival of the Animals tells the story of a child lost at a zoo who encounters a variety of dynamic animals as she seeks her way home. In this musical suite by the French Romantic composer Camille Saint-Saens, each of the fourteen musical movements depict particular animals. The ballet includes 57 colorful costumes designed by Alicia Worden and Nilda Roxey. As the dancers interpret lions, fish, donkeys, elephants, chickens, tortoises, birds and kangaroos, audience members are introduced to many styles of dance paired with Saint-Saens’ surprising instrumentation.

“The goal of our annual Children’s Classic Stories is to offer familiar tales in vibrant ways to engage new audiences,” explains Hailey Glover, Roxey Ballet’s Director of Outreach. “These are family-friendly productions highlighting the talents of local student dancers complemented by our fully professional ballet troupe. Even the youngest dancers play pivotal roles and their enthusiasm is contagious!”

Performances take place on Saturday, May 7 at 1:00 p.m. and Sunday, May 8 at 1:00 p.m.

Kendall Hall is located on the campus of The College of New Jersey at 2000 Pennington Road, Ewing, New Jersey, easily accessible by I-95.

General admission seating may be purchased online at www.RoxeyBallet.org or by phone at (609) 397-7616. Tickets range from $15.50 to $52.50. Special discounted rates are available for seniors, disabled and school groups of 20 or more.

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