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Live music accompanies romantic ballet by Sewell

Nicky Coelho and Cory Goei dance a scene in "Lover," which will be performed at 7 p.m. Nov. 23 at the Sheldon Theatre.

By Ruth Nerhaugen, Contributor

The Nov. 23 performance of “Lover” at the Sheldon Theatre will offer audiences a unique blend of talents.

Members of the James Sewell Ballet will dance to the Depression-era music of Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart, as performed by pianist Dan Chouinard and vocalists Bradley Greenwald and Maria Jette.

The production, “Lover,” is both poignant and poetically comic, according to Sheldon spokesmen. Through vignettes, it tells the story of love in times of hardship, of dramas driven by passion and miscommunication, they explained.

“Lover,” a 2002 creation which the company revived in spring 2013, involves four couples who fight, make up, flirt and change partners as they perform the choreography of James Sewell. Vintage numbers include “My Funny Valentine” and “Ten Cents a Dance.”

According to a Minneapolis Star Tribune review, “Sewell neatly pulls off the trick of balancing these classic American tunes with live singers and an enthusiastic ensemble of period-costumed dances.”

Company co-founder Sally Rousse will dance along with troupe members Nicky Coelho, Cory Goei, Eve Schulte, Chris Hannon, Nic Lincoln, Leah Gallas and Anton Lamon.

The second piece to be performed on Nov. 23 is “Your Move,” which James Sewell created using “moves” suggested by audience members in 2012.

People at dance concerts were invited to come out to the lobby and perform a signature move for a videotape, according to ballet operations manager Mary Jo Peloquin.

Sewell studied the videotapes and selected moves to incorporate into a collaborative work.

“This unique interactive piece (brings) these moves together in the warp and weave of a new ballet,” Sheldon spokesmen said. The St. Paul Pioneer Press called it “a captivating piece of work, imaginatively assembled by Sewell and expertly performed by his company’s seven dancers.”

Some Red Wing dancers contributed to the performance that will be seen here on Nov. 23.

The James Sewell Ballet, founded in New York City by Sewell and Rousse, was brought to Minnesota in 1993. It is “a close-knit company of dance artists willing to both challenge their physical limits and expand their notions about ballet,” according to the company. They perform innovative work that explores the technical boundaries of the dance.

Showtime is 7 p.m. Tickets are $20.50 for adults, $13.50 for students. Contact the Sheldon at 651-388-8700 or for information or tickets.

Local dancers join professionals on stage

Young dancers from Shoreline Dance in Red Wing will join professionals from the James Sewell Ballet on stage Nov. 23 at the Sheldon Theatre.

The local dancers attended a master class and performance of the Sewell Ballet in Minneapolis, operations manager Mary Jo Peloquin explained.

Sewell had them videotaped while doing an original 16-measure dance piece, which he has incorporated into “Your Move.” This unique composition is based on movements and gestures suggested primarily by audience members at fall 2012 dance concerts.

For the Sheldon production, Peloquin said, the Red Wing dancers performing their move will be incorporated into the work while members of the company perform the same moves with their own interpretation.

Peloquin noted that the James Sewell Ballet has been coming to Red Wing annually for several years, and continues to build on that relationship by integrating with the local dance community.

If you go...

Who: James Sewell Ballet

When: 7 p.m. Nov. 23

Where: Sheldon Theatre

How much: $20.50 adults, $13.50 students

More info: 651-388-8700 or