Archive 2008 - 2019

Saturday Morning Ballet

by Ann Talbot

No one reads a story better than the author.  David Ira Rottenberg of Natick held the attention of all the little wannabe ballerinas and their parents as he read his book Gwendolyn the Graceful Pig.  The story goes: the greatest ballet teacher in the land states that she could teach anyone ballet, even a pig.

 Gwendolyn, danced by Jenna Calabrese, already knew some of the steps...

 ...but her friend Omar, danced by Elizabeth Kantrowitz, wanted to be a football player.

Gwendoyn took ballet lessons every day. Omar joined her two days a week and practiced football two days a week.  Gwendolyn cheered at his games.


At the end of the story, the children had an opportunity to dance with Gwendolyn/Jenna.  Several had just come from their own ballet lesson.

Many children took advantage of photo opportunities with Omar/Elizabeth, who changed from her football uniform to a lovely tutu. 

The program ended with the girls dancing a scene from Sleeping Beauty.  This was a program of high quality blending reading, music and dance.  Thanks to Jenna and Elizabeth, both of Holliston, both from Dancing Arts Center.  And thanks to David Rottenberg whose characters are a delight on the page and the stage.

Mr. Rottenberg brought his books Gwendolyn the Graceful Pig and Gwendolyn goes Hollywood, both illustrated by Lesley Anderson, for sale and autographs. He also brought Soldiers of Beauty, a book of his wonderful poetry about the ballet, each accompanied by an illustration from one of six artists.  My autographed copy sits here beside my computer.