WANT TO GO?
Presented by The Charleston Ballet
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday
WHERE: Civic Center Little Theater
TICKETS: Adults $21, students and seniors $16
INFO: 304-342-6541 or www.thecharlestonballet.comCHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The Charleston Ballet's performance of "Play Ball" features both boys and girls of summer going at it for nine innings, but it's fielding the male team that most challenged artistic director Kim Pauley.
"We have nine boys coming in from different places," she said.
The international male dancers have studied in Colombia, Wales and Cuba, while others come from South Carolina, Ohio, Florida and Philadelphia.
Many of the dancers have danced for Christopher Fleming, who choreographed "Play Ball." He recently formed BalletFleming in Philadelphia for performers who are dancing his works.
"You can tell that he's a big baseball fan," said Nick Peregrino of BalletFleming. "There's so much going on that you can't really see it all at one performance. You have to come back. It's so funny."
The ballet is set in the mid-1940s when men who served in the military during World War II depleted the ranks of America's baseball teams. President Franklin D. Roosevelt urged chewing gum company owner P.K. Wrigley (as in Chicago's Wrigley Field) to form the All American Girls Professional Baseball League to keep interest going in America's pastime until the soldiers/players returned.
"It's a blast," said Peregrino. "Baseball is something real-life that everyone knows about that he's brought to ballet."