Local dancers take to the stage to perform a pirate ballet

Ballet dancers practicing for their performance of Le Corsaire. (Photo by Mitch Borden/KMXT)

Mitch Borden/KMXT

Hundreds of dancers will show off their moves in Kodiak this weekend when the curtain rises on Next Step Dance Kodiak’s production of the ballet Le Corsaire. KMXT stopped by a rehearsal and has this report.


Dancers dressed in colorful costumes gracefully move across the stage in front of a pirate ship in the Gerald C. Wilson Auditorium.

Around 300 performs are rehearsing their parts for the ballet Le Corsaire, which is being put on by Next Step Dance Kodiak. Their ages range from young children to young adults. Mary Beth Lowen is the owner of Next Step and is directing the show. She says it’s been kinda crazy wrangling so many kids while organizing the ballet.

“It’s like being back in college in finals week.”

The show is about a group of pirates and the trouble they get into after being saved by some maidens. Le Corsaire was originally written in the mid-1800s, but Lowen says some things have had to be changed from the original production for Kodiak’s show.

“It’s a classical ballet, but of course we’ve got lots of non-classical aged children dancing, so we’ve got crabs and seagulls.”

Although, some roles have been added and a few plot points have been changed so the ballet is more child-friendly. Lowen says this production is trying to stick close to the original story. But, some people wanted the recital to go in a different direction — a more Kodiak direction.

“People were talking about ‘oh, we should have them dance in extra tuffs and we should have a coast guard helicopter come in.’ We’re trying to stay in within the large range of the actual classical story.”

Le Corsaire may have originally only included ballet dancing, but that isn’t the only style of dance Next Step teaches, so Lowen is including a variety of styles in the show.

“But, we’ve got tap and jazz and contemporary. So we do definitely have a lot of different styles.”

There will be two productions of Le Corsaire in Kodiak this weekend. One on Friday and One on Saturday at the Gerald C. Wilson Auditorium. The show will begin around 6:30 pm and tickets can be bought at the door.

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