'Hansel and Gretel' — more than a year later

Littleton Youth Ballet finally gets to hold two performances

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April 2020 was the original date planned for Littleton Youth Ballet's production of the classic fairy tale “Hansel and Gretel.” The theatre was rented, backdrops were ordered, costumes were ready and more than 80 young dancers had been rehearsing for months when COVID closed everything down.

The company quickly converted to Zoom and continued to hold classes and rehearsals. Performances were attempted in an outdoor theater, but it was cold and windy and they couldn't use the backdrop and curtain.

Choreography is a challenge when one doesn't have everyone in the same room!

They kept dancing and finally, things began to open up again — although masks are required for dancers and audience.

So, here we are a year-plus later — and the warm, dry, really lovely Newman Center at the University of Denver will allow for curtain, full sets, costumes and a beautiful real theater for the dancers at 7 p.m. on Sept. 11 and 12 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Sept. 12.

Enjoy Hansel and Gretel's journey as they get lost in the woods, meet the wicked witch — and encounter dancing gumdrops, jolly gingerbread men and mischievous bakers, as they make their way back home again. This familiar tale is a perfect introduction to ballet for young people

The Littleton Youth Ballet is composed of 86 young dancers ages 7 to 18, who are learning one of the longtime great performance skills as they work with fine music and strong instruction.

Co-director Allison Jaramillo grew up dancing in Littleton and returned to share her skills with her students at the Littleton Boulevard studio, which is happily open again.

Jaramillo says the kids are so happy to be dancing together again. Many of her advanced students have won awards and been accepted into nationally recognized ballet schools across the nation.

Tickets cost $28 to $40 at the Newman Center box office, 303-871-7720, or see littletonyouthballet.org. Masks required.

While the COVID-19 pandemic continues, public events frequently are canceled or rescheduled. Check with organizers before you go.

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