‘A Storybook Ballet’ headed to Egyptian stage

Dancers represent TriCities communities among others

The Beth Fowler Dance Company and Beth Fowler School of Dance will present "A Storybook Ballet" March 17-19, 2023, at the Egyptian Theatre in DeKalb.

The Beth Fowler Dance Company and Beth Fowler School of Dance invite all to be their guest, as they bring four favorite fairy tales to life on stage in “A Storybook Ballet.”

The performance promises to transport audience members to the fantastical lands of their childhood, whisking viewers on a magic carpet ride, through an enchanted forest, under the sea, and into a tale as old as time, all told through the beauty and power of ballet, danced by local dancers from the dance company and a large, local cast.

Performances of “A Storybook Ballet” will be at 7 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday. All performances will be staged at the Egyptian Theatre, 135 N. Second St. in DeKalb.

“The book is coming to life before her eyes. All the characters are emerging through the pages. It’s magical.”

—  Beth Fowler, owner of the Beth Fowler School of Dance

“A Storybook Ballet” is a Beth Fowler Dance Company original production, now being presented on stage for the third time since it debuted in 2013.

The ballet tells the story of Marie, a young girl magically transported into the pages of an enchanted 10-foot-tall storybook, including four of her favorite bedtime stories, the tales of Snow White, Aladdin, The Little Mermaid and Beauty & The Beast.

Beth Fowler, owner of the Beth Fowler School of Dance and the company’s artistic director, said “A Storybook Ballet” arose from a desire to bring something new and different to the stage, which reflected skill and elegance, yet remained energetic and exciting for audiences of all ages.

“The book is coming to life before her eyes,” Fowler said in a news release. “All the characters are emerging through the pages. It’s magical.”

Fowler said she developed the concept of “doing four classic Disney-style stories in one” show to create a show that is entertaining for the audience and which creates an abundance of performing opportunities for dancers.

The show will feature soloists from the Beth Fowler Dance Company and a large, local cast of students and performers.

Clara Owen, 18, of St. Charles will dance the role of Jasmine, princess of Agrabah.

Owen has danced with BFSD since she was a child. In recent years, she has handled several leading roles in Beth Fowler productions, including as Clara and the Snow Queen in “The Nutcracker.”

Owen will be joined on stage by Brady McCue, 17, of Geneva, who will dance the role of Aladdin.

McCue said he was able to identify with Aladdin’s character traits, as well, notably Aladdin’s “very outgoing and bold” personality.

McCue will also dance the role of Lumiere, in Beauty & The Beast, and the Huntsman, in Snow White.

Both Owen and McCue said they are looking forward to the opportunity to act, as well as dance. The showmanship of “A Storybook Ballet” makes acting just as crucial as mastering the beautiful choreography.

Alexis Green of Hampshire will dance the role of Marie.

Emily Belzey of South Elgin will dance the role of Snow White, partnering with Brandon Fowler of Cortland as Snow White’s Prince.

Lorraine Robinson of DeKalb will perform as Ariel, of The Little Mermaid, with Ben Fowler of Kingston as Prince Eric.

Ellie Books of Sycamore will dance the role of Belle in Beauty & The Beast, joined by Chance Miller of Cortland as the Prince. Brandon Fowler will perform as The Beast.

Other prominent roles include: Reegan DeBarba of DeKalb as The Genie in Aladdin; Ben Fowler as Gaston; Iris Windsor of St. Charles as the Evil Queen; Alexa Johnson of South Elgin as Ursula; and Phil Masterton of Rockford as King Triton.

“A Storybook Ballet” is directed and choreographed by Beth Fowler, assisted by Brooke Fowler, Rachael Kollins-Merchut and Jennifer Flatland.

Reserve tickets can be bought in advance through the Egyptian Theatre at egyptiantheatre.org.

All children’s tickets include a “Meet & Greet” backstage after the show for a keepsake photo with the cast. Guests can come to the front of the stage after the performance to be escorted on stage behind the main curtain.