For twenty-nine years Plano Metropolitan Ballet (PMB) has put its unique twist on a classic fairytale ballet. This year, the non-profit dance company’s annual ballet is “The Little Mermaid,” with nine performances throughout January. But for the dancers, the excitement starts in August when the ballet is revealed, parts are announced and the practice begins.
There’s no way to predict what each year’s performance will look like, because it’s built around the dancers. Cindi Lawrence Hanson, Plano Met Ballet’s artistic director, remarks, “That’s what’s really made the ballet so successful; it fits the group of dancers who perform it.” One of the ways the company has adapted the story of “The Little Mermaid” is with a Queen Trident, instead of a King Trident. “Each year has its own highlights,” notes dancer Hannah Beaudreau. “This year it’s been fun to explore a new type of character that I’ve never danced as before.”
Cindi has been with PMB since 1998, and has seen generations of dancers perform. As artistic director, she collaborates with choreographers and designers across four different studios to reimagine ubiquitous fairytales each year. “It has to be an adventure,” she adds. “And it has to be fun for both the dancers and the audience.”
PMB’s non-competitive environment welcomes dancers of all experience levels, which easily forms a tight-knit community. “I consider the studio a second home,” says dancer Gabrielle Collins, who has been with the dance company six years. “I’ve studied under incredible teachers and met some of my best friends here.”
The 55 dancers range in age from 10 to 18, with some continuing dance as a profession and many others who cherish ballet as their hobby. For Cindi it’s all the same if it’s fueled by love and passion. “For us it’s not important if you want to be a professional dancer,” she explains. “You can still love dance and do it.”
Every performance of “The Little Mermaid” will be in the Courtyard Theater in Downtown Plano. Of the nine performances in January, four are Girl Scouts Performances where scouts receive an embroidered mermaid patch and have the opportunity to attend a Q&A session with the dancers. Tickets are $18 and can be purchased online.
Friday, Jan. 4, at 7:00 p.m. (Outreach Performance)
Saturday, Jan. 5, at 7:00 p.m.
Friday, Jan. 11, at 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 19, at 3:00 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 19, at 7:00 p.m.
Girl Scouts Performances:
Saturday, Jan. 5, at 3:00 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 12, at 3:00 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 12, at 7:00 p.m.
Friday, Jan. 18, at 7:00 p.m