Fostering a love of dance requires creativity to advance the art form. Covenant Ballet Theatre has done this is by offering students a more meaningful performance opportunity than the standard recital. Over the past three decades, CBT Artistic Director Marla Hirokawa has created 17 original narrative ballets that feature a gamut of roles to accommodate the varied technical skills of students, faculty and guest artists, several of which are historic in content. Students are exposed to folklore and ballet traditions as well as historical accounts such as Orphan Train, a tribute to the founder of the New York Children’s Aid Society, and Nisei which is a tribute in memory of Marla’s father and of World War II Japanese-American veterans. Students gain valuable dance performance, acting and stagecraft skills dancing beside professionals within this larger theatrical context.
"Allowing students to perform is an important mission of her company, and it’s certainly an admirable one. Some dance enthusiasts may find it dull watching children at various levels of dance training, and some, like myself, will find it fascinating to witness the great potential of these young dancers."
- Jack Hanley, Indie Theatre Now