I believe I can fly
You’ve never seen anything like the Sacramento Ballet’s Peter Pan—because it’s still in the process of being built by choreographer Ron Cunningham and his dancers. It will be ready by the time it takes the stage Valentine’s Day weekend at the Community Center Theater, however.
Cunningham has wanted to create a full-length Peter Pan for many years, “but I could never find what I thought was the right music,” he says. Well, now he’s found it—in Italian composer Silvio Amato’s score for Peter Pan on Ice. (Skates, pointe shoes—what’s the difference?)
“I did mess with the music a little,” Cunningham said after a run-through of the dance at the Sacramento Ballet’s studios recently. “I trimmed some sections and rearranged some others—with the composer’s permission. I think it really suits the spirit of what I’m trying to do here.” (Search “Peter Pan Silvio Amato” on YouTube to hear portions of the score.)
With the exception of the music and the scenery, which is rented, the production is homegrown. The ballet’s costumer has designed and sewn everyone’s outfits and Sacramento artist Stephanie Taylor has created video designs for various scenes. Yes, Peter (Rex Wheeler), Tinkerbell (Maggie Rupp), Wendy (Alexandra Cunningham) and others will fly. They’re airborne thanks to Flying By Foy, the same company that got the recent Peter Pan television musical off of the ground.
Don’t worry: This one will be better than that one, because—well, it’s got dancers. And it has the wonderful Christopher Nachtrab instead of the wooden Christopher Walken as Captain Hook. Bonus: Sacramento Ballet’s world premiere of Peter Pan will be presented along with George Balanchine’s rousing classic Stars and Stripes.