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Ballet company helps museum kick off 75th birthday celebration

September 28, 2006

The story of a duck who lived in the lake at the city park and dreamed of becoming a ballerina was brought to life by a group of ballerinas on Sept. 16 at City Park near the lake to kick off the 75th birthday celebration for the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts.

After opening remarks by County Commissioners President Gregory I. Snook and state Sen. Donald F. Munson, the Potomac Classical Youth Ballet Company presented "Alexandra, Keeper of Dreams," a story about a delightful little duck who was unafraid to dream even the impossible dream.

It's a story that encourages children to believe in themselves and hold on to their dreams, and was written and illustrated by Mary Alice Baumgardner of Waynesboro, Pa. Baumgardner served as narrator for the performance, which was held outside on the museum patio.

Originally staged for the Maryland Symphony Orchestra's annual Family Concert in 2005, Artistic Director Lauran Clowser personally selected the music from the MSO's music library with an emphasis on music that would be familiar to children. Final selections included Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata," Mozart's "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star," and a can-can by Offenbach.

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Clowser and Ballet Mistress Jennifer Green-Flint designed and set the choreography to go with the story.

In August, company members spent a full week restaging the ballet, which included recasting some roles for members who had graduated or simply outgrown their roles from 2005. Baumgardner also came and rehearsed with the company several times during the week.

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