For decades, Dance Alive has brought world-class dancers to Central Florida and introduced audiences to shows classic and modern. This winter, they’ll bring to life Shakespeare’s own A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Kim Tuttle, executive artistic director of the Dance Alive National Ballet, grew up around ballet—Dance Alive was started by her mother, and both Kim and her sister are still in the dance industry today. In their 53 years, the company has put on more than 2,000 productions.
“We’ve been the touring company for the state of Florida for 40 years consecutively. We’ve toured Russia, Brazil and Costa Rica and are going to Cuba this year,” Tuttle says.
With such full schedules, where do the dancers even find time to rehearse? Tuttle says a professional ballet company only needs about six weeks to prepare for a new show. She believes the Dance Alive cast are some of the best in the business, and the audience is likely to agree.
“We have a lot of really wonderful artists. Because we’re a small company, we’ve been very careful to select dancers who have something to say and something to give the audience,” says Tuttle. “We have dancers who have been in huge companies and come to a smaller one to make a home where they don’t have to fight for roles all the time. Our most recent addition was the top dancer of 200 at the Kiev National Ballet in Ukraine, and he won the Artist of The Year award for the whole country.”
While A Midsummer Night’s Dream may seem like a production best suited for ballet veterans, Tuttle and the Dance Alive company encourage everyone—from ardent fans to first-timers—to watch as this story unfolds onstage.
“It’s Shakespeare: a world of fairies, dukes and donkeys. In this play, characters have this magic potion put in their eyes when they sleep. When they wake up, whoever they see first they fall in love with. It’s a bright and beautiful ballet, and it proves that falling in love is a gift. I think for people who have never seen ballet, a story is a common denominator. You may not like classical ballet and Mozart music, but you will find when you have a story that it is captivating and timeless,” says Tuttle.
Learn more › A Midsummer Night’s Dream › Friday, February 8 at 7:30pm › Reilly Arts Center, 500 NE 9th St. Ocala › To purchase tickets, visit reillyartscenter.com. › Visit dancealive.org for more information about the Dance Alive National Ballet.