Ballet students double their efforts

THE STOMPING ground for future stars is doubling it efforts to entertain Dubbo as Christmas approaches.

Dubbo Ballet Studio (DBS) is staging not one, but two musical productions during its annual end-of-year concert.

Rehearsals have been underway since the start of term four for Honk! Jr and Fame Jr, both family-orientated.

Honk! Jr, a modern-day musical version of the Ugly Duckling story, has an ensemble of "farmyard animals" aged from three to 11 years old.

Their mothers, relatives, studio staff and supporters have been busy making costumes for the likes of little cows, sheep and ducks.

DBS principal Anna Bloomfield said past concerts had helped fine-tune the creation of creatures with wings, tails and beaks.

But thinking caps have been strapped on in the process of dressing the senior students in the lead roles and ensemble of Fame Jr.

It is the family-friendly version of the musical set in a New York performing arts high school.

Students are reaching the "can't wait" stage for two performances at Dubbo Regional Theatre and Convention Centre (DRTCC) on December 8; a matinee at 1pm and evening show at 7pm.

The studio's first double bill is in part a celebration of its "best year" in a long and distinguished history of performance.

At the 2012 McDonald's Sydney Eisteddfod, DBS won first place in the open group contemporary section, second place in the open group lyrical section and was a reserve finalist in the open group jazz section.

The standout routines received enthusiastic applause at the studio's annual variety gala concert on Monday at DRTCC.

Only a few seats were vacant in the centre's tiered theatre, named after the founder of DBS, Joyce Schneider.

The audience also heard of the success of DBS graduates who were once "future stars".

Ella Havelka joined the Australian Ballet this year, its first Indigenous dancer.

Charles Bartley has danced with international singers such as Ke$ha and Kylie Minogue in Australia and overseas, while signing up to the musical King Kong, set to open at Melbourne's Regent Theatre in June 2013.

Joseph Simons recently was guest artist with the West Australian Ballet, performing the title role in Ivan Cavallari's new production of Pinocchio.

Tickets to the December 8 shows can be purchased from DRTCC.

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