GREENWICH, Conn. -- Greenwich Ballet Academy will host its Spring Gala on Saturday, June 14, with two performances of "Paquita," at the Massey Theater in the Wallace Performing Arts Center in Greenwich at 2 and 7 p.m.
All students will be performing, with Maria Jose Esquivel of Stamford dancing the lead. She most recently danced the Snow Queen pas de deux in GBA's December 2013 performance of "The Nutcracker."
A silent auction will also take place between performances and during intermissions.
The dramatic ballet takes place in Spain during Napoleon's occupation, and features Paquita, a young Gypsy girl who later discovers that she is of noble birth, and is able to marry her love, a young French officer. The academy will also perform divertissements that showcase their talent.
"Paquita," first performed by the Paris Opera Ballet in 1846 and then in Russia in 1847 by the Imperial Ballet of St. Petersburg by Marius Petipa, the first work staged in Russia by Petipa. Petipa produced a revival of the ballet in 1881, and some pieces of that revival remain a cornerstone of traditional ballet repertory today.
"Our talented students have achieved the pinnacle of grace and beauty with their hard work preparing for this incredible performance," GBA artistic director Yuri Vodolaga said in a statement. "Working alongside professional performers, our students have quickly learned the joy of ballet, learned the discipline necessary for a successful performance and are prepared to transform the audience's imagination for a fascinating look into the Napoleonic occupation of Spain and the romantic life of the young Gypsy girl, Paquita."
Tickets range from $40 to $60 and can be purchased on the Greenwich Ballet Academy website.
Greenwich Ballet Academy is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) institution that nurtures talented dancers, ages 4-21, toward careers in classical ballet and contemporary dance with a unique emphasis on the Russian Vaganova method of instruction.
The Massey Theater in the Wallace Performing Arts Center is at 200 N. Maple Ave. in Greenwich.