Yellowstone Ballet Company presents Songs and Dances of Love – a spectacular gala performance served with a selection of luscious desserts – at 7:30 p.m. on Valentine’s Day, Friday, Feb. 14, at the Willson Auditorium in Bozeman.
Kathleen Rakela, the company’s founder and artistic director, says the inaugural event came with a flash of inspiration. “Last August I suddenly got this vision for a fun but beautiful, old-fashioned Valentines Day event with something for everyone,” she says. “I checked with the Willson Auditorium and Valentine’s Day was open so it seemed that it was meant to be.”
The performance does have something for everyone, tied together with the theme of love.
The dance performances include ballet pas de deux “rarely, if ever, seen in the Treasure State,” says Rakela. Guest dancers include Sharon Wehner and Domenico Luciano from Colorado Ballet; Risa Mochizuki and Yuuki Yamamoto, Japanese dancers with the New Jersey Ballet performing Don Quixote Pas de Deux and Cinderella Ballroom Pas de Deux; Maxim Elman and his sister, gold medalist Talli Elman of Vancouver’s Goh Ballet dancing Coppelia Pas de Deus and a contemporary piece, “Lost in Love”; Martinsdale ballerina Anne Valle and former Texas Ballet Theatre dancer Parsifal Pittendorfer in Sleeping Beauty Pas de Deux.
Rounding off dance selections are ballet ensemble pieces by Bozeman’s Raison D’etre Dance Project.
Musical selections include opera songs “In Quelle Trine Morbide” from Puccini’s Manon Lescaut and “Un Bel Di” from Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, sung by Merceds Mcann, and the musical theatre piece, “She Could Have Danced All Night,” performed by locals Rachel Olsen and Ian Mascari. Timothy Bell, organist and music director for Holy Rosary Church in Bozeman and pianist for the Montana Dance Arts Association, provides live accompaniment.
The dessert selection includes truffles, cream puffs, and other luscious options.
“Audience members will need to watch out because Cupid will be roaming around in the lobby, and you just might get one of his love arrows,” warns Rakela. Cupid’s helpers will be on hand too, delivering old-fashioned Valentine’s cards.
“Bask in the love that the performing arts can bestow to all hopeful and hopeless romantics,” says Rakela. “Your heart will be tickled pink!”
Tickets are $20-$59; visit www.yellowstoneballet.info.