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But none of McLevin’s training prepared her for some of her experiences when she became a full-time professional. For one year she shared the stage with a colorful international cast that included magicians and Chinese acrobats in a Vegas-style production in Guam. “I got to teach them how to dance a little, too, which was crazy,” McLevin said. “I didn’t speak Chinese and they didn’t speak much English.”. But counting to eight in Mandarin didn’t help the language barrier with one pair of co-stars. “Every day I got to work with two tigers,” she said.

During the several years she lived in Los Angeles, McLevin worked television commercials, concerts, music videos and movie sets including “a bunch of Charlie Sheen films.”, “I taught him how to dance for a movie role gaynor minden pointe shoes colors that he was doing,” McLevin said, Even though she left Los Angeles for San Jose nearly four years ago, McLevin manages to stay just as busy now with her dance company and teaching at several local studios, “Between all of that, it comes to create a full-time job, but it’s all in the dance world,” she said..

McLevin and the six other members of her company practice extensively throughout the week at the studios where she teaches. Eventually she hopes to make Perspective a fully funded company that tours so she can share her art again with audiences across the globe. “I would love for the company to be a bigger part of my life,” she said. “I’d rather the company be more full time and eventually take this on the road and take us on tour.”. The ChoreoProject Awards Concert will be held March 17-18 at the SJSU Dance Theatre, SPX 216, One Washington Square, San Jose. Show times are 2:30 and 7 p.m. both days. Tickets are $18 to $30. For more information, call 408-520-9854 or visit

Of the zillion or so movies that have been made into stage musicals, some seem more likely candidates than others, A story about a young boy with an exceptional aptitude for ballet growing up in a rough English mining gaynor minden pointe shoes colors town, the 2000 British movie “Billy Elliot” seemed like a natural fit, And indeed, it wasn’t long before “Billy Elliot the Musical” premiered on London’s West End in 2005, with libretto and lyrics by the original screenwriter, Lee Hall, and music by Elton John, After racking up Olivier and Tony awards for best musical, the show finally hit San Francisco on its U.S, tour in 2011, and now Berkeley Playhouse gives “Billy Elliot” its East Bay premiere at the Julia Morgan Theater..

Eleven-year old Billy (withdrawn Parker James Fullmore, alternating with Matthew Dean) stumbles into ballet class quite accidentally, only meaning to hand over the keys to the room after his boxing lesson, but is drawn into the hectic class by the forceful personality of teacher Mrs. Wilkinson (Taylor Bartolucci, with a bizarre singing accent). She sees remarkable potential in Billy, but his gruff father (Ken Sonkin, leaking wounded pride) and angry older brother (a belligerent Zachary Padlo) are much too macho to put up with Billy pursuing ballet.

Like pretty much all the grown men in town, Billy’s dad and brother are coal miners, The story’s set during the coal miners’ strike of 1984 and ’85, pitting the mineworkers union directly against the government of Margaret Thatcher, (The coal industry had been nationalized after World War II.) Tensions are running high, gaynor minden pointe shoes colors and money is even tighter than usual, The combination of stories leads to some memorable moments, The stirring musical number “Solidarity” juxtaposes clashes between striking miners and police with the kids in ballet class until they’re all weirdly dancing together..

The songs by Elton John and Lee Hall are pretty catchy, especially the cheeky “Merry Christmas, Maggie Thatcher” that opens the second act with a boisterous party scene, and they’re smoothly played in the Berkeley Playhouse production by the small orchestra under the direction of Rachel Robinson. Melinda Meeng is a gently benevolent presence as Billy’s dead mother, and Mary Gibboney is distractingly goofy as his dotty and forgetful grandma. Scottie Woodward is entertainingly flamboyant as the ballet class accompanist, and charismatic sixth grader David Rukin practically steals the show as Billy’s friend Michael, who loves to dress up in women’s clothes.

Producing artistic director Kimberly Dooley’s staging is animated and engaging throughout, The choreography by Dooley and Allison Paraiso is generally lively, making good use of a large adult and youth ensemble, There aren’t really gaynor minden pointe shoes colors many in the way of “wow” moments you might associate with a play about an exceptional dancer, but the free-form solo dances do convey the raw emotion that Billy usually keeps bottled up and can only express when he’s dancing, After all, it’s not ultimately a story about how much the dance world needs Billy; it’s about how much he needs to dance..

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