Congress established this week as this year's Holocaust remembrance week.
In recognition of this, the Rinat Mouzafarov Classical Ballet Company will present a reprise of The Anne Frank Ballet.
"We did this seven years ago, and had principal dancers coming from out of town," Mouzafarov said. "But now my dancers are technically strong enough to dance in these parts. All the dancers in the show are from the local Minot area."
Photos by Terry J. Aman/MDN - - TOP: Dancers in “The Anne Frank Ballet.” At LEFT: Featured dancers in “Hatikva: The Hope” include Alexis Schriock, left, and Kason Hanson. ABOVE: Principal dancers in “The Anne Frank Ballet” include, kneeling, from left, Haley Wentz, Rinat Mouzafarov, Laurel Collins and Macy
Christianson, and standing, from left,
Kason Hanson and Alexis Schriock.
The choreography dates from 1959 by Adam Darius of Holland, with some additions by Mouzafarov.
With his roots in the Soviet Union, Mouzafarov has first-hand know-ledge of the suppression of religious freedom. He decided to present the Anne Frank Ballet in honor of those who suffered or lost their lives during the dark time of World War II.
Older audience members may remember the events more vividly, but younger people can also understand the joy, fear, yearning and heartbreak through the interpretation of the dancers, particularly Alexis Schriock, dancing the role of Anne Frank, the 15-year-old girl whose diary is the basis for this story.
This is Schriock's final work with the Company. Upon graduation she will be dancing with the intern program at Ballet Magnificat, billed as the world's top Christian ballet company, based in Jackson, Miss.
Margot, Anne's sister, is danced by Laurel Collins, with Anne's friend Peter danced by Kason Hanson.
Peter's parents are danced by Macy Christianson and Timothy Lewis, with Haley Wentz and Mouzafarov dancing Anne's parents.
As heartbreaking as it is, "the ballet is a tribute to the courage and nobility of the human spirit," Mouzafarov said.
'Hatikva: The Hope'
The second half of the program is "Hatikva: The Hope," based on the Psalms of King David.
This is Mouzafarov's original choreography, using different religious songs. Each dance tells a story with familiar characters from the Bible, including Abraham and Sarah, Moses, David and Bathsheba and many others. For the Exodus there is a dance with a tent that moves across the desert from hand to hand.
"One of the dances is about Moses' mother, and the river she puts the basket into is made up of dancers," said Mouzafarov's assistant Ashleigh Collins. "It's so wonderful to look at."
Of "Hatikva" she said, "It's the most beautiful thing I've ever seen this man turn out."
"It's wonderful that we have a dozen male dancers now, and all ages, from babies to adults," Mouzafarov said. "It really makes a difference in what I can do. My dancers are absolutely phenomenal. ... I feel blessed to be able to present 'Hatikva' to my friends in Minot."
He said the finale will feature nearly 100 dancers, aged 2-1/2 to adult.
The costumes were designed by Tonya Lewis, the set by Collins and Chad Hofer.
"I could not do this production, or any production, without my wonderful volunteers and the parents of my dancers," Mouzafarov said.
The performances are May 6 and 7 at 7 p.m. and May 8 at 2 p.m. in the Central Campus Auditorium. Ticket prices are $10 for unreserved seating, available at the door.