Connecticut Ballet

Saturday, April 13, 2013
Stamford, CT

Photographs by Robin G. London and Story by Olivia Stumpf for Fairfield County LOOK

On Saturday evening, April 14th, the Connecticut Ballet held Dancer's Choice, a benefit at the Long Ridge School. It was a program of duets, solos and special performances by the company repertoire. Guests enjoyed a lovely dinner, performances and dessert with the dancers!

On Sunday, April 14th, the Connecticut Ballet took audiences on a journey as they told childhood stories, The Jungle Tales and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Capturing the audience from the very beginning, dancers used nontraditional technique to tell author Rudyard Kipling’s story of a young boy named Mowgli. Lost by his parents, Mowgli is raised by wolves in the jungle. Although he stands out amongst his brother wolves, he befriends Bagheera, the black panther, and Baloo, the bear. The ballet culminates with the tiger, Shere Khan, who wants Mowgli to leave the jungle. The two engage in a ravenous fight. Although Mowgli is the victor, he eventually accepts his humanity, and leaves the jungle to create a new home in the human village. Allowing their bodies to truly move to the music, the dancers gave up classical ballet methods. They turned their feet in and adjusted their posture to better suit their characters. Anton Kandaurov, who performed the role of Mowgli and Oksana Maslova, who played the lead wolf, were in touch with their animal instincts as they danced powerfully to the rhythmic beat of the drums.

The second act of the ballet told The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, a tale about a mischievous boy and his friend Huckleberry Finn. Set in the 1840s on the Mississippi River, the two boys are introduced as notorious pranksters. Caught in the wrong place at the wrong time, Tom and Huck are playing games in a cemetery and witness the murder of a townsman. When the wrong man is accused of the crime, Tom is forced to do the right thing and explain to his community what really happened. Just as in The Jungle Tales, the dancers provided audiences with an invigorating performance that appealed to children and adults of all ages by bringing the characters to life. The movements of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn were alive with excitement. Energy leapt from the dancers’ bodies as they exchanged arabesques for grand jetes. The choreography even involved comedic story telling, evoking laughter from the audience as Tom and Huck engaged in their usual shenanigans.

The Connecticut Ballet provided viewers with two refreshing and never before seen performances. Using more contemporary music by American composers, the company demonstrated its ingenuity and brought ballet out of the shadows and into the spotlight. For more information, please visit:

Christy Jefremow and Jessa MurninChristy Jefremow and Jessa Murnin
Brett Raphael, Barbara and Rick GoldsmithBrett Raphael, Barbara and Rick Goldsmith
Tom Kent and Jeanne GreavesTom Kent and Jeanne Greaves
Noah Teitelbaum and AndyNoah Teitelbaum and Andy
Ellie Telzer and Oksana MaslovaEllie Telzer and Oksana Maslova
Elena Comendador and Shannon SullivanElena Comendador and Shannon Sullivan
Howard Jacobson and Angela CarrHoward Jacobson and Angela Carr
Amy Fallas, Christine and Michael Madden and Gary RawlsAmy Fallas, Christine and Michael Madden and Gary Rawls
Patricia Weiner, David Young and John and Linda CoxPatricia Weiner, David Young and John and Linda Cox
Donna Esposito, Ellie Telzer and Denise EspositoDonna Esposito, Ellie Telzer and Denise Esposito
Alexander Tressor and Lisa and David HooperAlexander Tressor and Lisa and David Hooper
Jessa Murnin and Howard JacobsonJessa Murnin and Howard Jacobson
Dana Raphael and Jay WeinerDana Raphael and Jay Weiner
Oksana Maslova and Anton KandaurovOksana Maslova and Anton Kandaurov
Brett Raphael and Howard JacobsonBrett Raphael and Howard Jacobson
Marius Arhire, Howard Jacobson and Susan MalloyMarius Arhire, Howard Jacobson and Susan Malloy
Anton Kandaurov, Kimberly Levesque, Oksana Maslova and Brett RaphaelAnton Kandaurov, Kimberly Levesque, Oksana Maslova and Brett Raphael
Helen Cooper, Marcos Vedoveto and Paul EndresHelen Cooper, Marcos Vedoveto and Paul Endres