Sharon Sullivanssullivan@gjfreepress.comGrand Junction Free PressStaff Writer

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September 13, 2012
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Divine Dancing: Christian ballet troupe to perform at the Avalon

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - Ballet with an emphasis on Christianity was "unique," and a bit "risky," but after Kathy Thibodeaux won the Silver Medal at the USA International Ballet Competition in 1982, she sought to establish just that - the nation's first Christian Ballet Company, Ballet Magnificat! Omega. "They wanted to use professional ballet to glorify God," the company's tour director Erin Beaver said.The internationally recognized Christian ballet company, founded by Kathy and Keith Thibodeaux, will perform in Grand Junction Thursday, Sept. 20, at the Avalon Theatre. Titled "Prodigal's Journey," the production will open with act one - "Basic Instructions" - an upbeat performance with flamenco guitar and African-Cuban rhythms of the band Burlap to Cashmere.The second act, "Prodigal's Journey" is a spin-off from the well-known Bible story of the "Prodigal Son." Set in the early 1900s, the piece - set to a medley of classical ballet, jazz, modern and swing dance - is about a husband who leaves his family and then returns."It's a really great story of hope and forgiveness," Beaver said. Ballet Magnificat! has performed before an estimated 12 million people worldwide since its inception in 1986. Based in Mississippi, the company includes two full-time professional troupes who perform more than 200 programs across the United States and abroad each year. Dancers who are selected to join the company have completed extensive training, Beaver said.The Grand Junction performance will include a special appearance by artistic director and choreographer Jiri Sebastian Voborsky, a native of the Czech Republic. Voborsky spends much of his time as an instructor, and typically performs in Europe."He's just amazing," Grand Junction resident Paulette Bourget said.Bourget contacted Ballet Magnificat! a year and a half ago when she heard the group was scheduled to perform in Denver. She succeeded in bringing the troupe to Grand Junction last year for a performance of the "The Hiding Place."In addition to the Avalon show, Ballet Magnificat! will perform "The Hiding Place," in Montrose 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 15.The professional dancers will conduct master classes Tuesday, Sept. 18, at Colorado Mesa University, and Monday, Sept. 17 at Absolute Dance Studio. Both classes are open to the public. For more information about the class at CMU, call 970-245-9292. To attend the class at Absolute Dance, call 970-255-8322. Tickets for the Avalon performance are available at the door and in advance at Sonlight Christian Books, 2472 F Road, or by calling 970-241-3885. Tickets are also available at For the Montrose show, call the Montrose Pavilion at 970-252-4880.

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