Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Thumbelina to Come Alive in Efrat

I've gone to hundreds of dance rehearsals in the past many years of both dances in which I took part and those that I peeked in on, as producer of the Dames of the Dance performance extravaganzas. As the show date neared, both dancers and choreographers grew a tad nervous and perhaps impatient. Friends, that is natural, and even more so. 
In two weeks the chugim (extra-curricular dance groups) of the Efrat Community Center take to the gym floor to show their latest-learned steps at the Matnas Spring Dance Recital. My four-year-old granddaughter is dancing, IY"H, along with 60 other girls in Choreographer Tzila Lensky's version of Thumbelina. 
My granddaughter is a teeny leaf fairy. I had the maple sugariest experience yesterday as I watched rehearsal for Tzila's youngest group, the very youngest of whom is three-and-a-half. In their tiny pink ballet shoes and "big" sisters' hand-me-down leotards, these preschoolers obeyed Tzila's every word. The leaf fairies fluttered and twinkled in Second Position, Pas de Bras (or something else in French that sounded like chopped liver), balancee, battement, adagio (these are probably not the right words, but you get the idea and at least the four year olds understand), or whatever other French positions little Israeli children had to take on the dance floor, according to the instructions of their Russian teacher. 
Truthfully, I sat in amazement at every movement of our magical little fairies, wondering how Tzila was able to teach these little skittily-jibbits anything. And yet on Isru Chag Succot, the incomparable master Tzila Lensky will have girls of every age, level and ability, dancing their little toes out in Matnas Efrat in the balletic rendition of Thumbelina
Humongous kudos to Tzila as well as the older girls, several of whom dance on pointe, who guide the little ones with lots of love and patience. Moving around these 60 girls simultaneously throughout the performance is nothing short of a General Patton troop movement. I am in awe!! 
As a ballerina's grandmother and future audience member, I thank Tzila for sharing her love of dance, her expertise and her tradition of ballet greatness with our little fairies, elves, flowers, butterflies and all of Efrat's future dancers as well. And a thank you to the Efrat Community Center for appreciating dance, and supporting dance programs with such a full heart.

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