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Enjoy an enchanting tea party benefiting the Maple Youth Ballet Junior Company!


Put on your favorite dress and bring a friend to Maple Conservatory of Dance to enjoy: Yummy Treats Crafts Photos with Clara Performance by the Maple Youth Ballet Junior Company. Sunday November 11 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM.  $25 per guest   Click Below to Read more

The Maple Youth Ballet performs at the 17th annual Irvine Global Village Festival


The Maple Youth Ballet performs at the 17th annual Irvine Global Village Festival on Saturday, Sept. 22, at the Orange County Great Park. This free all-day event features more than 100 performances representing cultures from around the world; international cuisine; kids' crafts and activities; cultural and religious exhibits; and an international marketplace. The Maple Youth ballet performs at 12:45 PM on the Chinese American Musical Association stage near the new balloon lawn. The Young Dancers will perform Tarantella, the Junior Company will perform Animated Garden from Le Corsaire and the Senior Company will perform excerpts from Cinderella and other works. Come out Read more

The Maple Youth Ballet Performs at Festival of Children


The Maple Youth Ballet will be performing at the Festival of Children at South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa September 16 at 2:00 PM. Young Dancers will be performing Tarantella, and the Junior Company will perform Animated Garden from Le Corsaire.  Come out for this free performance by the Maple Youth Ballet Junior Company and the Maple Youth Ballet Young Dancers! Festival of Children September 16, 2018 @ 2:00 pm – 2:30 pm South Coast Plaza, Carousel Court 3333 Bristol St Costa Mesa, CA Read more

Enjoy an enchanting tea party benefiting the Maple Youth Ballet Junior Company!

Posted on in News & Events

Put on your favorite dress and bring a friend to Maple Conservatory of Dance to enjoy:

  • Yummy Treats
  • Crafts
  • Photos with Clara
  • Performance by the Maple Youth Ballet Junior Company.

Sunday November 11 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM.  $25 per guest

 

Click Below to RSVP!


The Maple Youth Ballet performs at the 17th annual Irvine Global Village Festival

Posted on in News & Events
The Maple Youth Ballet performs at the 17th annual Irvine Global Village Festival on Saturday, Sept. 22, at the Orange County Great Park.
This free all-day event features more than 100 performances representing cultures from around the world; international cuisine; kids’ crafts and activities; cultural and religious exhibits; and an international marketplace.
The Maple Youth ballet performs at 12:45 PM on the Chinese American Musical Association stage near the new balloon lawn. The Young Dancers will perform Tarantella, the Junior Company will perform Animated Garden from Le Corsaire and the Senior Company will perform excerpts from Cinderella and other works. Come out and enjoy this free performance by the Maple Youth Ballet Junior & Senior Company and the Maple Youth Ballet Young Dancers!

2017 Irvine Global Village JR Company Performance


The Maple Youth Ballet Performs at Festival of Children

Posted on in News & Events

The Maple Youth Ballet will be performing at the Festival of Children at South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa September 16 at 2:00 PM.

Young Dancers will be performing Tarantella, and the Junior Company will perform Animated Garden from Le Corsaire.  Come out for this free performance by the Maple Youth Ballet Junior Company and the Maple Youth Ballet Young Dancers!

Festival of Children

September 16, 2018 @ 2:00 pm – 2:30 pm

South Coast Plaza, Carousel Court

3333 Bristol St

Costa Mesa, CA 92626

 


2018 Ultimate Nutcracker Auditions September 1

Posted on in Blog, News & Events

Open to the entire community!

Come Join Us For Our 2018 Nutcracker Auditions

Sensational dancers, award winning choreography, thrilling special effects, opulent sets and costumes and a magnificent 55′ growing Christmas tree make this production the holiday crown jewel of Southern California. Artistic Director, Charles Maple, has choreographed a splendid full-length production of E.T.A. Hoffman’s time honored classic. This is the perfect holiday fare for all ages!

Check in 30 minutes before audition time
 
1:30 PM – Ages 7 – 13*
Girls who are proficient en pointe may attend the 2:30 PM audition.
 
2:30PM – Ages 13+
Ladies must be prepared to dance en pointe.
All dancers should be warmed up before this audition.  We recommend taking the 11:30 AM open class before the audition if no other class is available.
 
Performance Dates December 14, 15, & 16.

The Creation of Maple Youth Ballet’s Cinderella

Posted on in Charles' Blog

 

Charles’ Cinderella Blog

Before I began to choreograph Cinderella, I looked at tradition and non-traditional versions of the ballet and noted the elements I enjoyed and those that I found to be missing. I then pieced together a synopsis of the ballet for Maple Youth Ballet based on those thoughts.

The concept of Cinderella can be traced back centuries and individual elements of the story can be found in almost every culture of the world. Told by bards and entertainers from the ancient world, the story has passed from culture to culture and age to age. With each transition it has been altered, embellished and reworked to make it more immediate to its audience. It is impossible to know the exact number of tales (some are replicas of each other, while others have changed so much they are barely recognizable), but it has been estimated there are at least 3,000 variations on the theme of Cinderella worldwide.

The Cinderella story is perhaps one of the most well-known fairy tales in our culture. The version most Americans know best first appeared in Frenchman Charles Perrault’s Tales of Mother Goose, a collection of fairy tales for children, in 1697. The popular Walt Disney animation was based on this version. Perrault simply wrote down a story that had been well–known all over the world for more than 1,000 years. The story is known as “Ashputtle” in France, “Yeh-Shen” in China, “Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters” in Africa and “Vasilisa the Beautiful” in Russia.

A few important details stay the same in all of the stories. The Cinderella character’s mother has usually passed away, and the father has remarried. She is forced to perform menial tasks for her stepmothers and stepsisters, like starting fires and cleaning. In some stories, the girl’s name (Cinderella or Ashputtle) refers to her daily chore of cleaning up the cinders and ashes. The stories usually mention the stepmother and stepsisters’ jealousy of Cinderella’s natural beauty and gentle personality. Then, when a prince or king begins searching for a wife, competition develops between the sisters. Because of Cinderella’s kindness, though, she is given help from fantasy-like people: a fairy godmother, magical animals, etc.

So with all of this information I set out to begin the process of actually piecing the different elements of the ballet together. Now, I do not consider myself to be a great choreographer; I would prefer to think of myself as an arranger of dances. I gather ideas, see what I like, change the order of things around a bit and see what happens. Ideas can come to me from all sorts of places; watching other ballets, from the suggestions of the dancers, the recent winter Olympics, even people walking on the street, cartoons, musicals, and so on. Very often an inadvertent move by a dancer or a flash of inspiration provides an unexpected solution to a choreographic problem. It is not necessarily the originality of the steps that is important. Someone, somewhere has already done almost everything that the human body is capable of doing. Instead, it is the way the moves come together and create an effect that is important to me. It begins with conjuring up wonderful characters from our dancers. That step helps me focus the choreography to be both understandable and enjoyable.

I was never drawn to the idea of having the two stepsisters portrayed by men, as is tradition in the British pantomime. As my ideas came together, and as I had to deal with the number of dancers available to me within Maple Youth Ballet, I was drawn to having the stepsisters and the more menacing stepmother danced by real women.

I also found the father figure to be an awkward character who should have been doing more to protect Cinderella, so I decided to dispose of him altogether and leave Cinderella a stronger girl, able to deal with her nightmare family alone. She did, however, need some friends to share her life with so after some thought, I settled on a cat and a mouse.

I decided to do away with the fairy godmother and instead used the concept that Cinderella’s mother is the spirit driving the ballet forward.

A scene that always bothered me in the traditional interpretations of the ballet was the obligatory dances for the four seasons. It was not the dancing but the fact that the seasons had nothing to do with the story that bothered me. Also the scene took Cinderella away from her house before the magical transition of the pumpkin into a carriage. I do have a dance for three fairies, but they are only there to abet the spirit mother.

Having settled on the story, I now had to come up with the plotting of the choreography and the actual steps. I normally like to work from the beginning to the end of a ballet in sequence, but that was not to be. It always takes a while for the elements to sort themselves out and more often than not when two large chunks of choreography meet there has to be some adjustments made!

I chose to use young dancers from the Maple Conservatory of Dance in this production as I believe the opportunity to perform is a valuable part of their dance education was well as an enhancement to the ballet.

In Cinderella, I wanted to maintain the magic of a fairytale, combined with good dancing, an easily followed story line, humor and romance. I trust that by our opening the correct balance will have been achieved. The dancers have been remarkable in the process and each successive rehearsal has brought more and more individual dimension and understanding to the work as it fully takes on a life of its own. What I ultimately hope for in this production is to express the poetic love of Cinderella and the Prince, the birth and blossoming of that love, the obstacles in its path and finally, the dream fulfilled. I can’t wait to see the results on stage.

 

 

 

 

 


2017 Adult Ballet Intensive

Posted on in News & Events

Maple Conservatory of Dance is offering a comprehensive world-class summer ballet intensive for adult dancers ages 20 and older. This intensive will cover Ballet Technique, Pointe, Variations, Pas de Deux, Conditioning, Repertoire, and conclude with a performance. Tuition includes welcome reception on June 25th, all classes and DVD of in studio showing. Space is Limited – Enroll Today! 949-660-9930

Date: June 25, 2017 through June 30, 2017

Click Here for More Information


Yes Virginia, Another Nutcracker!

Posted on in Charles' Blog
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Original Production of the Nutcracker in 1892

Nutcracker was not a rip-roaring success at its premiere in St. Petersburg, Russia in 1892. The art critic Konstantin Skalkovsky wrote in 1899, “Generally speaking, The Nutcracker was staged mainly for children; for the dancers it contains very little; for art — exactly nothing. Even its music was rather weak. As the dance writer Anatole Chujoy pointed out later on, the Nutcracker ballet remained in the Russian repertory for over 37 years! However, even today, audiences in Russia as well as in Europe are less excited than their American counterparts about The Nutcracker.

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Maple Youth Ballet Nutcracker

So why do Americans love this ballet? The Nutcracker fits into a made-to-order tradition concocted by a country too young to have many traditions of its own. The first full production of The Nutcracker in the U.S. was presented in 1944 by the San Francisco Ballet when ballet was still struggling to gain a foothold in our American culture. Since then, The Nutcracker has become not only the most popular ballet, but one of the most performed ballets in the world.

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Maple Youth Ballet Nutcracker

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Maple Youth Ballet Nutcracker

Ironically, there are dark psychological undertones to the original E. T. A. Hoffmann fairy tale on which the Nutcracker ballet is based. These nuances are rarely brought to the surface in most Nutcracker ballets. What unfolds on stage is the American ideal of a happy and stable family in the style of a Norman Rockwell painting. The famous choreographer, George Balanchine, followed this story closely and was able to capture the American ideal. But not everyone followed the original Nutcracker story. Nutcracker productions have even been set in Harlem!

Balanchine’s Nutcracker production was first performed in February (not December) in 1954 at New York’s City Center. Its setting is at the cozy, middle-class home of the Stahlbaum family in the late 19th century. Hints of darkness emerge in the character of Herr Drosselmeyer, the mysterious guest whose gift of a nutcracker sets the story in motion. But the overall mood is one of loving harmony, which is a scene that pervades most other American Nutcracker productions, no matter how much they diverge from the literary details of the original Nutcracker story.

Perhaps The Nutcracker endures because it conjures cozy holiday memories, the perfect Christmas celebration or the perfect arabesque, all frozen in time. Though The Nutcracker is a classical ballet with strong traditions to which many choreographers adhere, some choreographers have developed modern versions of this ballet.

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Misty and Charles 1997 Nutcracker

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Misty American Ballet Theatre

This December, the Maple Youth Ballet will present its own twist to the Nutcracker. As Maple Youth Ballet’s Artistic Director, I have created a Nutcracker production centered on Clara, a young girl who dreams of becoming a ballerina. Herr Drosselmyer is a ballet master and a magician. He presents Clara with two presents, a Nutcracker and a pair of pointe shoes. Later that night, in her dream she sees herself grown up and dancing with her Nutcracker prince in a performance at the Palace of Sweets. Interestingly enough the original production that would become the present Maple Youth Ballet was first choreographed in 1997 with a young and yet to be discovered, Misty Copeland as Clara and yours truly as the Prince and Choreographer. Misty is now a principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre and her story of dreaming and becoming a ballerina did come true.

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Misty Copeland

Is this like a Christmas Norman Rockwell painting? Is this still an American tradition? Absolutely! The Maple Youth Ballet’s Nutcracker production is a “ballet about ballet” and about the passion to dance. It is a message that lives in the heart, soul and the dreams of every young dancer.


New Hip-Hop, Classic Jazz and Adult Ballet Classes at Maple

Posted on in Charles' Blog

What an amazing fall we have already had in the conservatory. There is a great energy in all of our conservatory classes and in the expansion of our open class program here at the Maple Conservatory of Dance. For the first time ever, we have added Contemporary Jazz and Hip-Hop Dance classes to our schedule, and have also more-than-doubled the number of open adult ballet classes we had previously offered. Our adult open dance classes are designed for dancers 13 years and older and are taught at all levels from Beginning Fundamentals to Professional.

We understand that it is difficult to find high quality dance classes for Adult Dancers, so we have brought together the industry’s best instructors in Ballet, Contemporary Jazz, Modern, and Hip-Hop into our Conservatory right here in Orange County. As a result there is no longer a need to travel to Los Angeles or Hollywood for this kind of world-class instruction. Our goal has always been to provide and maintain the highest international standards in all of our dance instruction.

Please join us for class sometime, dance is our passion and we want to share that passion with you by having you love where you dance.