The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Currents

May 3, 2013

Getting to the pointe: MBC Performing Company debuts with 'Stars and Stripes'

MANKATO -- When the last few notes of Andrew Lloyd Weber’s “Variations” blared through the Mankato Ballet Company studio during rehearsal on Monday night, 15 dancers heaved a collective sigh of relief.

In a lengthy number that encompasses the whole of Weber’s rock concerto for cello -- which he famously wrote after losing a bet on a soccer match to his brother, a professional cellist -- the 15 founding members of the newly formed Performing Company spend much of it en pointe. Or, in other words, they spend much of it in pain.

As Mankato West senior Amy Poburka unwrapped and removed her pointe shoes -- the structurally reinforced footwear that allow ballet dancers to bear their body weight on their toes -- she found her feet in state similar to each of her fellow dancers: raw, blistered and bleeding.

“Sometimes I bleed right through the shoes,” she said.

Poburka has been with the Mankato Ballet Company since she was 4 years old. And the upcoming “Stars and Stripes” performance represents her swan song as a member.

Yet, she’s been rehearsing as hard as ever. With only a few performances left before her ballet career takes a back seat to college life at the University of Minnesota, Poburka said she’s hoping to save her best for last.

“I want to make sure this performance is a good one,” she said. “I want to leave a positive example for all the other dancers.”

“Stars and Stripes: An All-American Collection of Dance” represents the first-ever performance of the MBC’s Performing Company, which was formed to give a more rigorous experience to dancers who have advanced skills and may have an eye toward a professional career.

Eryn Michlitsch, MBC artistic director, said a commitment to the Performing Company adds about six hours of practice on top of a dancer’s typical slate of ballet classes.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Currents
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
NDN Video
Hillary Clinton Blamed Bill's Affair With Monica Lewinsky On Abuse He Suffered As A Child 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Yes It's True! Jessica Biel Returns to TV H-O-T! "Fifty Shades of Grey" Trailer Is Here! A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years Zoe Saldana is Reportedly Pregnant, Will Announce it When She's Ready Kim and Kanye's Daughter Takes Her First Steps Tori Spelling Lets Loose on Marriage Problems Selena Gomez Caught Snuggling With New Guy Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Selena Gomez Celebrates her 22nd Birthday with Cara Delevingne Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable NeNe Leakes Goes Off On Wendy Williams Check out JWoww's Post-Baby Bod PDA Alert! Sofia Vergara and Joe Manganiello Arm in Arm Cameron Diaz Cuts Interview Short Over Barrymore Talk Zoe Saldana's Alleged Baby Bump Causes Stir Zac Efron's Sexy Sleepover With Michelle Rodriguez Holy Bikini! Jennifer Lopez Takes It To Another Level Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl