Ballet Project Brings Professional Dancers to CSM April 17

LA PLATA, Md. (April 5, 2010)—Whether you're a dance connoisseur or just want a taste of ballet-from classical to modern-"The Ballet Project" at the College of Southern Maryland on April 17, 8 p.m., is the place to be. See some of the best Southern Maryland, national and international dancers for a mere $5 at CSM's Fine Arts Center in La Plata. The Fine Arts Center, in collaboration with Oscar Hawkins, artistic director of the Ballet Arts Academy at the Old Waldorf School, have been bringing professional dance to Southern Maryland for a number of years.

"Every year there are new dances to give the audience a taste of different things-- from classic to contemporary," said Hawkins. "This year we're bringing you the classics and much more."

Hawkins strives to have his audiences experience "the purity of raw human emotion and the pedestrian side" of dance. He describes his own choreography as "a contemporary style of movement based on pure classical technique with raw human feelings."

In his second year as artistic director of "The Ballet Project," Hawkins is eager to present "the talented dancers" performing in the show. Some of those performances include "Child Cries," an original vocal work created by and performed live by Hawkins, and danced by Anastasia M. K. Kim. Hawkins will also dance "Gisselle" with Evgena Singur of the Bolshoi tradition.

The classic "Dying Swan," originally created for the ballerina Pavlova, will be danced by Russian ballerina Singur. Singur will also dance with Russian Hall of Fame's Bat Udval to new Russian character work she choreographed. There will also be a premiere by Broadway dancer Shylo Martinez.

New choreographic work "Waiting" will be performed by BAA students Alex Walters and Sara Cheney. "Four Little Swans," "Dying Swan" and many more contemporary and classical works will be presented by BAA students along with guests from the Kirov Ballet Academy in Washington, D.C.

"Our pre-professional students work long hours and are dedicated to their craft and this show gives them a chance to share the stage with some of the top dancers in the country," Hawkins said of his BAA students.

"The Ballet Project" was developed by BAA Founder Jayne Stafani-Keating to expose the community to the artistic medium of ballet.

"Dance is an important artistic medium," said Hawkins. "It provides a voice to the people and an outlet for creative expression to reflect the times or embrace the past."

The dancers themselves and/or artistic directors will introduce each piece to be danced with a brief description of its history and choreography.

The program also features a question-and-answer session with the artists after the show, allowing the audience to question the dancers who will return to the stage for this informal discussion about their life as dancers and performers.

The performance is funded by a grant from the Charles County Arts Alliance and the Maryland State Arts Council.

For information or reservations, contact the CSM Box Office at 301-934-7828, 301-870-2309, 240-725-5499 or 443-550-6199, Ext 7828, or e-mail or

The academy is located in the Old Waldorf School at 3074 Crain Highway (U.S. 301), just north of the Jaycees Center in Waldorf. To donate to or contact the school, visit or call 301-932-4002.

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