Book of the Jungle 2012
Ballet Bras d’Or presented Kipling’s ‘Book of the Jungle’ on Saturday June 30th at seven thirty pm at Strasthpey Place. Kipling’s original story of the young boy adopted by a family of wolves and brought up in the jungle came alive on stage in this multi media ballet production. This classic tale portrays well the dilemmas of societies. As amusing as some of the characters might be, for the thinker in the child or adult alike, there are many allegories to ponder about. The wolf pack promotes leadership and law, whereas the monkeys have no leader, “they lie and they cheat. They live up in the tree tops and want admiration, but no beast of the jungle will look at them”. The loyalty of brotherhood among some of the wolves transcends even the law as the leader Akela will lay down his life if he must, yet when the lame and ferocious tiger ‘Shere Khan’ bribes some in the pack, we see how greed and treason divides and ruins them. Mowgli‘s travels among the animals of the jungle remind us about our troubles among our own kind. Ballet Bras d’Or‘s choreography was presented previously in 2006 at Strathspey Place. Some of the dancers returned for this second production of the Book of the Jungle. Brianna Covey and Cassie Ehler are studying in college, but spent two intense weeks in rehearsal in the roles of Bagheera and the Red Flower. Anastasia Feigin and Leah Lambie returned to their roles as Shere Khan and Mowgli.
It is the aim of Ballet Bras d’Or to continue to improve the choreographies over time, both in the vision of the original stories, keeping integrity with the authors, and with the development of the techniques of the dancers. Anasasia Feigin and Leah Lambie both brought their fresh interpretations with movements as they acquired new understanding after their secondary studies in the fields of Dance and composed some of the scenes. It certainly was a boost for all the young dancers and for the audience to have their participation and flawless performances. Brianna Covey danced with Ballet Bras d’Or for 9 years and returned for last year’s show Lewis Carroll’s ‘Alice’ as the ‘Queen of “Hearts’. Brianna attends Saint Thomas University in Fredericton and will complete her BA in anthropology and criminology in 2013. There she is involved with REDS Cheerleading and the Maritime Martial Arts Academy. After that she plans on studying massage therapy. Brianna will always be a farm girl at heart and loves to come home to the Highlands of Cape Breton. Cassie Ehler of Whycocomagh began dancing when she was 8 when her mother enrolled her in her first dance class. Cassie studies nursing at Dalhousie University, where she is on the track team. Although not pursuing a career in dance, she still finds joy in it and continues to dance in her free time. With Ballet Bras d’Or, Cassie performed in ‘the Little Prince’ as the Snake, the Malachite Palace, The Toy shop, and the 2006 presentation of the Book of the Jungle as Father Wolf. Leah Lambie’s first ballet show was at the Middle River Community Centre at the age of 5. She played the roles of a wolf cub and a flower. Since then she has been dancing with her mother and Ballet Bras d’Or since its beginning. She danced in the productions of Alice in Wonderland, Winter Dreams, Alice in the Looking Glass, The Little Prince, The Book of the Jungle, The Malachite Palace, Winters Dreamings, Alice, and played the role of Mowgli in this years production of Kipling’s ‘Book of the Jungle’. Since leaving Cape Breton in 2009 she has been studying at the Maritime Conservatory of Performing Arts in the Teacher Training Program, where she recently graduated with her Dance Teachers Diploma. She hopes to continue developing her art of teaching using creative and innovative ways to reach children. Anastasia Feigin began to dance at the age of 16 with Diana Lambie. With Ballet Bras d’Or, she had principal roles in Winter Dreams, Alice in Wonderland, the Little Prince, Malachite Palace and Kipling’s Book of the Jungle. Anastasia pursued dance training at the Halifax Ballet Theatre and then in 2008, Toronto’s York University dance program. During her studies Anastasia was a company member with the York Dance Ensemble, created and danced for students showcases, a specialized BFA (honours) in Dance Science. Anastasia departed for a six month ‘Artist in Residence’ in Argentina in the fall of 2012.
After a spring workshop in Mabou, some of the local dancers joined the Port Hawkesbury class in the role of the monkeys. Middle River’s little ones joined Port Hawkesbury ‘s youngest group as the wolf cubs while the technique students took on the roles of the mature wolves and villagers. Everyone gave their best and produced an unforgettable evening.