Neglia Ballet Artists’ production of “Baba Yaga” is back on stage at Shea’s on October 24th at 7pm. Baba Yaga is produced/choreographed by dancers Sergio Neglia and his wife Heidi Halt, who established Neglia Conservatory of Ballet in 1994. Since that time, Sergio and Heidi have been committed to building and branding Buffalo as a premiere city for classical dance training, with Neglia students going on to join top dance companies.
Aside from their mission to train dancers who go on to conquer their dreams and aspirations all over the world, Sergio and Heidi also take the time to choreograph local dance performances through their own dance company – Neglia Ballet Dancers (est. in 1999). Now the dance company is preparing to unleash the Russian Folktale production of Baba Yaga, which is a family-friendly spectacle that has become a tradition in the city of Buffalo.
Based on the Russian folktale and choreographed by Neglia Ballet Artists Artistic Director, Sergio Neglia, boasts an array of over fifty characters both spooky and sweet. Neglia himself plays the witch Baba Yaga, who lures young Misha to her strange cottage, built on chicken legs and prepares to eat her, aided and abetted by crows, skeletons, and other spooks. The excitement builds as friendly woodland creatures try but fail to rescue Misha — until finally her father arrives in the nick of time to do battle with Baba Yaga.
“Baba Yaga is one of the most challenging and fun roles I have ever performed,” said Sergio. “The character of the witch involves creative pantomime and acting abilities along with complexity of movement, which different from what I am used to doing as a classical dancer. Much of the movement is strange and crooked, as an ugly witch would dance–but I love it and am thrilled to perform it every year!”
“Whether you are a regular, or a novice to theater, Baba Yaga is a great theater experience that can be enjoyed by all,” shared Heidi. “A highly theatrical production, it is filled with magical moments; at times spooky but also humorous and sweet.It is a treat to sit in the audience and hear the oohs and ahhhs of children reacting to what they are seeing on the stage. They are engrossed in the story, mesmerized and at the edge of their seats rooting for good to prevail.”
- Sets by David Butler and Mark DiVincenzo
- Costumes by Donna Massimo
- Lighting affects by Dyan Burlingame
- Music of three Russian Masters; Mussorgsky, Stavinsky and Glazunov
- Free costume party for kids before hand
For tickets to Baba Yaga, call 1-800-745-3000, go to www.ticketmaster.com or to Shea’s Ticket Office (open M-F 10a-5p; Sat. 10a-2 p and during shows through intermission.) Tickets start at $16. For groups (10+), please call 716-829-1154.