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In honor of a teacher: New York City Ballet members to perform at Draper's Moonlight Dance

By Blair Howell

For the Deseret News

Published: Saturday, June 23 2012 2:00 p.m. MDT

“Hands down, my favorite ballet is ‘Swan Lake,’” Oliphant explains. “And I am so thrilled that they will be including both the ‘White Swan’ pas de deux and ‘Black Swan’ pas de deux in the performance.”

When Oliphant first suggested that Megan Fairchild learn the “Swan Lake” choreography by Peter Martins, the New York City Ballet’s current master in chief, while Fairchild was her student, “Megan said, ‘I can’t do that,’” Oliphant recalls. “But I said, ‘Yes, you can.’”

Accompanying the “Moonlight Dance” performances by the New York City Ballet dancers will be hip-hop, contemporary, jazz and modern dances presented by two local studios — the South Jordan-based Utah Dance Artists, where Oliphant teaches, and American Expression of Dance in Draper — and by Chase Wise of the Odyssey Dance Theatre. Choreographers of the dances include finalists of “So You Think You Can Dance,” Stacey Tookey, Gevorg Manoukian and Matt Dorame, and Kate Jablonski, a choreographer for the TV competition and a Utah Dance Artists guest faculty member.

If you go

What: “Moonlight Dance”

Where: Draper Amphitheater

When: June 25 at 8 p.m.

How much: $17-$8; with family seating on grass area, $33-$31

Tickets: draper.ut.us

SIDEBAR

Meet the ‘Moonlight Dance’ New York City Ballet dancers

Megan Fairchild began her dance training at age of 4, studying at Utah’s Dance Concepts and at the Ballet West Conservatory, later becoming a Ballet West trainee. Fairchild joined New York City Ballet in 2001 and became a principal in 2005. “Onstage, she’s just like this little thing that lights up,” Savannah Lowery, a New York City Ballet soloist, told the New York Times. “Nothing is ever done wrong or incorrectly. She’s just this prim, proper, perfect thing.” In the same article, Fairchild discussed her marriage to Andrew Veyette. “This sounds super cheesy,” she said, “but from the moment we started dating, we never spent time apart, and we’ve always known eventually one day we’d get married.”

Robert Fairchild also began his training at Dance Concepts, at age 4, and the Ballet West Conservatory, at age 10. Joining New York City Ballet in 2005, he was promoted to principal four years later. While still an apprentice, he originated the lead role in Peter Martins’ “Romeo + Juliet.” As Romeo, the New York Times wrote, “Fairchild begins with not just his head in the clouds but also his whole body, dreamily banking into pirouettes. Later his ardor for Juliet focuses his exuberance, converting him into a virile force.” Another Times article called him “the most charismatic actor the company has, with his dreamy lyricism” after his performance in choreographer Jerome Robbins’ “Fancy Free.”

Tiler Peck, born in Bakersfield, Calif., began her dance training at 7. After studying at the School of American Ballet, she joined New York City Ballet in 2005 and was promoted to principal in 2009. She also played Gracie Shinn, the mayor’s daughter, in Susan Stroman’s 2001 Broadway revival of “The Music Man.” Peter Martins selected her to premiere his “The Sleeping Beauty” in the lead role of Aurora. “Watching Peck move can be a sublime experience. She makes everything look unhurried and natural without losing her brio, speed and excitement,” according to Dance Magazine. “She dances with a free and sharing heart that draws the audience to her like a magnet.”

Andrew Veyette, born in Denver, began his dance training at age of 9, entering the School of American Ballet in the fall of 1998, joining the New York City Ballet in 2000 and was promoted to principal in 2007. He originated featured roles in Peter Martins’ “The Red Violin.” Veyette “is riveting. He has a command onstage; he’s a daring partner and a daring presence," wrote a Dance Magazine reviewer. He is a cool, slightly dangerous character as Riff in ‘West Side Story Suite’ and in the recent film, ‘N.Y. Export: Opus Jazz,’” the Jerome Robbins ballet broadcast on PBS.

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