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Ballet Tech Cincinnati Plays Ball in the Negro Leagues in Made in America at Aronoff Center May 4-5, 2007


ballet tech cincinnati presents Made in America at the Aronoff Center at 8PM on May 4-5, 2007 and 2PM on May 5, 2007. A Leaping for Literacy production, it includes inspiring stories of three courageous American youth based on the "Dear America," "American Girl," and "My Name is America" book series.

Cincinnati, OH, April 22, 2007 --(PR.com)-- ballet tech cincinnati will present its upcoming spring production of Made in America at the Aronoff Center at 8PM on May 4-5, 2007 and 2PM on May 5, 2007. Part of the Leaping for Literacy project, this production will take audience members on a journey through time and across our nation with inspiring stories of three courageous American youth based on the "Dear America," "American Girl," and "My Name is America" book series: Four Bases tells the story of an African-American Boy in the 1940's Negro Baseball Leagues, Over the Rhine is the story of an Appalachian Girl in 1930's Cincinnati, and Alta California depicts a Mexican-American Girl in the 1840's. Three One-Act ballets will feature the talents of pre-professional dance students and seasoned professional dancers of all ages from all areas of Greater Cincinnati. With original choreography by three local choreographers, Mario de la Nuez, Kenneth "Kyne" Franks, and Jana Lane Hatcher, Made in America will showcase a wide variety of dance styles including ballet, tap, clogging, jazz, modern and musical theater and music that represents Hispanic, Appalachian and African American cultures, including Blues, Gospel, live Appalachian Fiddle Music by Russ Childers, and guests Southern Pride Cloggers.

Four Bases is a true-to-life depiction in dance of life in the Negro Leagues of the 1940's and 1950's. Cincinnati's Negro League Legend, Mr. Charlie "Whip" Davis talked about his experiences traveling and playing with the Memphis Red Sox in the early and mid 1950's. "Baseball playing I was named "Whip" Davis ...because I won 17 straight games-never lost a game." His roommate at the time, Charlie Pride, gave him that nickname because he never lost to anybody, Mr. Davis explained, "And it stuck". Mr. Davis described life as a Memphis Red Sox player, "My most exciting game... was the 1953 East-West game, the biggest game the Negro League ever had. Satchel Paige had the best record and he started, and I was second behind him."

The Four Bases ballet depicts the fictional life of Biddy Owens, a bat boy with the Birmingham Black Barons. In the show, the Black Barons travel to their baseball games via car, and the car breaks down. Mr. Davis explains, "I was in the league where our team had a nice bus... One guy at the Negro League Reunion said their car broke down and they stayed in one place for three days-all they could eat was watermelon." That situation happens in Four Bases: They approach a diner, but get turned away because they are black. Mr. Davis explained, "No, they couldn't eat everywhere." In the ballet, the one light skinned player who looks white is welcome, though. Mr. Davis recalls, "Growing up, you thought Mississippi was the worst state...in Jackson Mississippi, they had a place for you to pull the bus up and everybody would go off, get their sandwich and eat. In Alabama, you couldn't get off that bus. One guy came off that bus and got your sandwich. He was the only guy on the bus who looked like he was white. He could go get the sandwich...the police would sit there and watch you... One guy..."

In another scene, Four Bases shows the after game night life scene in the Juke Joint. Mr. Davis confirms, "Oh Yeah, we went to the Juke Joint. We was in beauty contests and whatnot. It was so great to meet some of the people we met... I would have never had the experience of traveling and playing if I hadn't been in the Negro Leagues."

Finally, in Four Bases, Biddy attends and graduates from college. Mr. Davis explains, "The team would teach him how to play and send the bat boy to college." Don't miss this unique presentation of the history of the Negro Leagues depicted in dance!

The Leaping for Literacy project includes three performances at the Aronoff Center's Jarson Kaplan Theater, literacy-based outreach activities that include free public performances at community libraries and bookstores, a poster and poetry contest open to all area children, a free, downloadable parent/teacher guide, monthly Dialogic Reading Workshops in conjunction with Success by Six Shared Reading Initiative, weekly "Dance it out" sessions, and a book giveaway for every child that attends a Made in America Aronoff performance. The Leaping for Literacy project is sponsored by the Stillson Foundation, Fifth Third Bank, Trustee.

TICKETS
Tickets to Made in America at Cincinnati's Aronoff Center May 4-5, 2007 are $22. Family Fourpack $44 special requires child 12 yrs or younger. To purchase, call 513.621.ARTS (2787) or go to www.ballettechcincinnati.org or www.cincinnatiarts.org . For more information call (513)841.2822.

SPONSORS
Made in America, a Leaping for Literacy project, is sponsored by The Stillson Foundation, Fifth Third Bank, Trustee. WGUC 90.9 FM and The Cincinnati Herald are Media sponsors for Made in America. This production is made possible, in part by the support of the Aronoff Center Rental Subsidy Grant of the Greater Cincinnati Foundation, the Fine Arts Fund, Duke Energy, Corbett Foundation and The Robert H. Reakirt Foundation, PNC Bank Trustee.

For more information, call ballet tech cincinnati at (513)841.2822, email info@ballettechcincinnati.org or visit their website at www.ballettechcincinnati.org

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Contact Information
ballet tech cincinnati
Marvel Gentry Davis
513.841.2822
Contact
www.ballettechcincinnati.org

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