"Ballet Under the Stars" at Lincoln Park -- June 7 through 9.

Friday, June 7, through Sunday, June 9, 8 p.m.

Lincoln Park, 11th Avenue & 38th Street, Rock Island IL

Performing June 7 through 9, company members of Ballet Quad Cities bring their annual, eagerly awaited performances of Ballet Under the Stars vignettes back to Rock Island's Lincoln Park. And this year, as Artistic Director Courtney Lyon says, the professional company's presentation will be a collection of dance pieces that are “all new .. but all of them will become favorites.

“I did a few new pieces of choreography for professional dancer Meghan Phillips of BQC,” explains Lyon. “There's a light and airy pointe solo to a Vivaldi Four Seasons selection, and a fun, danced version of 'Cups (When I’m Gone),'” a number made famous through an Anna Kendrick solo in the movie musical-comedy Pitch Perfect. “We use pointe shoes to enhance the percussion rhythm, and Meghan is terrific in both pieces!”

With the dance styles on display in this year's Ballet Under the Stars including tap, jazz, swing, Irish, Indian, African, and Hispanic in addition to classical and contemporary ballet, Lyon says, “Ballet Quad Cities School of Dance students will showcase a variety of dance styles, but the highlight of their performance will be the Act II of Giselle. That's a work that premiered in Paris in 1841, and the original staging and choreography has been passed down through generations to the present day. It is truly a classic, and will be magical at the park.”

Ballet Quad Cities' presents "Ballet Under the Stars" at Lincoln Park -- June 7 through 9. (photo by Kelly Bryant)

Rock Island's outdoor stage at Lincoln Park will also be filled with many additional area talents sharing the spotlight with the dancers of Lyon's company, among them performers from Quad Cities Ballet Folklorico, Imani! Dancers, D4Dance Academy, and Mayer School of Irish Dance. What results every year is a thrilling presentation of dance in a truly bucolic setting, and Lyon encourages family audiences to attend this annual delight – a perfect introduction to those who have perhaps always wanted to experience Ballet Quad Cities' talents but haven't yet taken the plunge.

“The music is great,” says Lyon, “and it being a night of fun, colorful, short pieces means that there is enough variety for everyone in the family. Ballet Under the Stars is a casual outdoor event in a great setting with good views of the stage, and there's also something new this year for kids of all ages, because our popular outreach program 'Dance Me a Story' comes to Lincoln Park at 7 p.m. each night before the performances. Children get to read a story, turn it into choreography, use props and costumes, and dance onstage – and no admission is charged all night, so it's the perfect way to expose children to the arts.”

Following the 7 p.m. “Dance Me a Story” events, Ballet Under the Stars' Lincoln Park performances begin at 8 p.m. June 7 through 9, and more information is available by calling (309)786-3779 or visiting BalletQuadCities.com.

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