Alexander Academy Presents The Jungle Book
Alexander Academy Performing Company presents an original dance production of The Jungle Book at Seabury Hall’s ‘A’ali’ikūhonua Creative Arts Center, today, Friday, May 31 through Sunday, June 2.
Four shows throughout the weekend will feature a cast of 200-plus student dancers ages three to adult as they blend ballet, contemporary, tap, lyrical, jazz, acrobatics, hip hop and break dance into a visual and thrilling tale about the human boy raised by his jungle creature family.
Since 2009, the upcountry dance studio’s performing company has presented several well-known ballet classics such as Swan Lake and Cinderella, as well as experimented with ballets that could more easily incorporate modern forms of music and movement like Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and The Little Mermaid.
For their tenth anniversary show, Alexander Academy focuses on the classic collection of short stories, The Jungle Book, which tells a powerful tale and brings to light important issues about humans and nature and the relationship between them.
“We had so much fun working with the non-classical ballet stories because they allowed us to include many different styles of dance without causing a disruption in the audience’s experience of the story,” said Artistic Director Amelia Couture, who also teaches ballet and contemporary at Alexander Academy of Performing Arts.
“Alexander Academy has grown to include break dancing, hip hop, jazz, tap, and acrobatics. It would be very hard to fit those styles of dance into a traditional telling of Swan Lake with classical music. But it’s quite easy and natural to fit many different styles of dance and more contemporary music into the retelling of a story like The Jungle Book.”
Adapting The Jungle Book for the dance stage was no small task, however. Couture’s version masterfully highlights the sensitive relationships, strong alliances, and inevitable conflicts that arise as Mowgli’s human traits become more evident and less suited for jungle life. The inventive story-telling that is expected of these Alexander Academy productions immerses its family-inclusive audience into the natural world of wolves, bears, panthers, monkeys, and more while the dynamic dancing demonstrates the full range of its all-ages cast.
As is her signature style, Couture’s vision stretches the performance space well beyond the edge of the physical stage. Coupled with the faculty’s exciting choreography, imaginative costuming, props, and stage design, all elements of this production are meticulously calculated to make The Jungle Book an enjoyable experience for the whole community.
Audience members are encouraged to attend multiple shows throughout the weekend to witness Alexander Academy’s full scope of dancers. The lead roles this year span the ages of 7 to 20 and include Ronan Mangat and Calilynn Salzer as Mowgli; Ki’tsai Zangpo as Baloo; Hina Claerbout and Amelie Wertheim as the motherly Bagheera; Jessica Bartlett and Giulia Salaparuta as wolf pack leader Raksha; Sara Salaparuta and Yasmine Lindskog as the feared Shere Khan; and Natalie Harris and Lilah Li as Kaa, the snake who narrates the tale.
Show times are Friday, May 31 at 6 p.m.; Saturday, June 1 at 2 and 6 p.m.; and Sunday, June 2 at 2 p.m. Bench seating tickets are $18 for adults and $10 for keiki ages 2 to 12. VIP seats are available at $28 for adults and $17 for keiki.
Tickets are on sale online at https://thejunglebook.brownpapertickets.com or by calling the box office at 1-800-838-3006.
Multiple-show discounts are available via a discount code delivered after first purchase. Shows are expected to sell out and ticket prices go up at the door, so it is advised to purchase in advance. For tickets link and more information, visit www.alexanderacademy.info.