NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WIVB) – The Greater Niagara Ballet Company is marking a major milestone: 50 years of bringing arts and culture to Western New York.
To celebrate, some of the Company’s first dancers are joining its current members, for a 50th Anniversary performance this week.
The program will feature excerpts from several popular ballets, like the Nutcracker and the Pas de Quatre, as well as ballets that are meaningful to the Greater Niagara Ballet Company’s history. The ballet featured in its first performance in 1967 will also be featured in Friday’s show.
It’s clear there is a lot of history to celebrate. For five decades now, dancers have been performing and training under Beverly Feder, the founder of the non-profit Greater Niagara Ballet Company as well as her private dance school, the Feder School of Classical Ballet.
Feder says, as the 50th anniversary celebration approaches, she’s excited to see some of her first students, who are now in their 60s, take the stage to perform again. “It’s exciting and I can’t wait to see some of them,” she told News 4. “They’ve all kept their shape, they’re in beautiful shape. Some of them are still taking ballet classes wherever they are.”
“It’s an exciting time for the ballet company and an exciting time for the dancers,” she added.
As the excitement builds for the upcoming anniversary performance, though, so does the nostalgia for the company’s past. During a sneak peek of the show Tuesday morning, Feder pointed out the costume one dancer was wearing was about two decades old.
In fact, that dancer’s mother, Julie Traver, once wore it when she performed the same ballet.
“I’ve been with the company for 30 years,” said Traver, who serves as assistant to the artistic director and rehearsal assistant. “It’s family, it’s a community, it means a lot.”
Traver and her daughter, Lily, will be dancing together on stage come Friday night.
They are among about 40 past and current Company members who are taking part in the anniversary performance.
“It’s taken us weeks to get ready,” Feder said. “We’re very excited about the whole process and we have beautiful dancers coming in from western new York and southern Ontario and they’re ready to go.”
Tickets for the performance are available in person or online at http://www.greaterniagaraballetcompany.org/purchase-tickets
Immediately following the show, there will be a cocktail reception at the Niagara Falls Country Club in Lewiston. Tickets for that must be purchased ahead of time from the Greater Niagara Ballet Company website.