YOUTHFUL IN SPIRIT, EXPERT IN SKILL

‘Peter Pan’ ballet to take the stage in June

Posted 5/18/22

An original rendition of “Peter Pan” will come to Port Townsend this June as a ballet with a full showcase of dance style by the Port Townsend Ballet.

The play originates from a story …

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YOUTHFUL IN SPIRIT, EXPERT IN SKILL

‘Peter Pan’ ballet to take the stage in June

Posted

An original rendition of “Peter Pan” will come to Port Townsend this June as a ballet with a full showcase of dance style by the Port Townsend Ballet.

The play originates from a story in Scottish writer James Matthew Barrie’s 1902 novel, “The Little White Bird.”

Since then, the beloved characters and tale of never growing up has been reproduced time and again.

Anna Tallarico has been writing and teaching her own screenplay to the classic with Port Townsend youths ages 3 to 18. The group has been rehearsing since February and plans to incorporate a showcase in the second act with jazz, modern, lyrical, and every other form studied at Port Townsend Ballet.

A practicing ballerina since age 4, Tallarico has been teaching at the school since May of 2020, while getting her master’s degree in English. She fell in love with teaching in Kirkland and came back to town during the pandemic.

“Oh my gosh, I can’t dance, I can’t teach. What am I gonna do?” She was in flux like the rest of the world until finding a home at Port Townsend Ballet.

It was a familiar moment of unfamiliarity.

Before she went off to her undergrad studies, she nearly parted ways with her craft.

“I just didn’t feel confident, I didn’t know if it was worth it,” she said.

Some of her 11- and 15-year-old students expressed similar sentiments, most of them still passively practicing steps, dragging silk toes in perfect half circles while they recalled doubtful periods, years into their practice. But each of them pushed through.

For Tallarico, the rescue was teaching.

“It was only when I started teaching that I realized how much I love it and how beautiful it is. Not only because of how it looks but because of how it makes you feel and how it makes other people feel to watch it,” she said.

“Peter Pan” fell into her lap when her boss left on maternity leave and no spring performance was in the cards.

Tallarico volunteered.

It’s her first time choreographing a performance and she said it’ll be pretty traditional.

“You know, except like shouting and jumping off the stage,” Tallarico laughed.

Her students helped her decide on “Peter Pan” and they’ve gone all in preparing. The school had planned to make use of costumes and sets from their winter performance, “The Nutcracker,” but now have all unique garb for the June rendition.

Just outside of the rehearsal area, two racks are overflowing with green velvet, frilly nightgowns, and blue silk, all near the circle of abandoned shoes where ballerinas have ditched their streetwear to get into character for Tallarico.

“They work so hard. I’m so proud,” she said.

She loves helping students realize their potential and to fall back in love when their confidence falters like hers did.

“I love helping the students realize that they can do amazing, hard things. And it’s fun to watch them grow in confidence. They just really try their hardest to be the best versions of themselves and it’s just really exciting for me.”

“I can’t imagine doing anything else,” she said.

For tickets to the Saturday, June 4 or Sunday, June 5 matinee shows, go to ptbspring2022.bpt.me/

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