MAY 19, 1997
Kirsta Paul (left) and Hailey Buser will dance the roles of bugs in PNB's A Midsummer Night's Dream.
Photo courtesy of PNB.
by Deborah Stone
PNB closes its 1996-97 season with Shakespeare's fanciful tale A Midsummer Night's Dream. This charming ballet, which will captivate both young and old, spins a story of the mishaps of love that occur when capricious immortals create mischief to complicate the lives of mortals.
PNB has redesigned Ballanchine's version of the ballet with new sets and costumes to give it a whole different look. What makes A Midsummer Night's Dream even more exciting is that it includes thirty-four talented young dancers who will be performing with the Company dancers.
Hailey Buser, 11, of Mill Creek, and Kirsta Paul, 13, of Bothell, are two of the thirty-four who will dance the roles of bugs in the ballet. They were chosen from the PNB School through a competitive audition process.
Hailey is a sixth grader at Heatherwood Middle School and has been studying dance since she was six years old at PNB's school in Seattle. She is no stranger to the stage, having performed for three years in PNB's The Nutcracker and most recently in Coppelia. Hailey loves dance and aspires to be a professional dancer. Her motto is, "I try my best, and I work very hard at everything so that I can become a really good dancer." Her regimen includes stretching at home each day and attending classes downtown four times a week.
According to her mother, Kathy Buser, Hailey structures her time well to fit in her school homework and keep up her good grades. "Hailey is passionate about dance. She has excelled at a young age, and it has given her a strong sense of focus." Her mother partly attributes Hailey's interest in dance to her parents taking her to the theatre and ballet ever since she was four.
Kirsta Paul is an eighth grader at Skyview Junior High and has been dancing for seven years. She has studied at PNB's School from the beginning and has also performed in The Nutcracker for five years, as well as in Firebird, Romeo and Juliet, and Cinderella.
She is delighted to be a part of A Midsummer Night's Dream and says that the professional dancers are all very kind and encouraging to her. "It's exciting to be on stage, and when you're chosen for a role, it's special because you know that not everyone gets to do this," Kirsta said.
Dance classes for her are five times a week, and the demanding schedule makes her redouble her efforts to keep up with her school work. "I want to be a professional dancer; I have ever since I was young and I know it's a big decision and involves lots of sacrifices," Kirsta said. Her mother, Patti Paul, agrees and comments on the fact that those sacrifices also include ones impacting the family.
The commitment and discipline of both these girls is very strong, and the fact that their parents are very supportive of their endeavors is also a key factor in the actualization of their dreams.
A Midsummer Night's Dream runs from May 27-31, as well as on June 5th and 7th. For ticket information, call 292-ARTS.