From catwalk to picket line?

Valley dance offerings this month include Billy Elliot The Musical (Photo above by Michael Brosilow), Catwalk by Scorpius Dance Theatre and Peter Pan by Ballet Academy of Arizona

As some of you know, my cat “Pinky” brings her own special brand of sophistication to theater criticism. And now, thanks to Scorpius Dance Theatre, she’s toying with a move into the dance world as well.

Scorpius Dance Theatre presents “CATWALK” — a blend of dance and fashion full of “runway attitude” — May 12-21 at Phoenix Theatre’s Little Theatre. It’s an original contemporary dance production that “fuses funky, local fashions and sexy athleticism” with the choreography of Lisa Starry.

“CATWALK” is staged on a runway. It “features 17 dancers, 10 choreographic works four independent designers, and one urban boutique.” Both new works and “returning favorites” are included in this year’s production.

If you need a faster dance fix, there’s still time to catch “Billy Elliot The Musical” at ASU Gammage. It’s another show best for mature audiences, but it’s set in a coal mining town rather than on a fashion runway. “Billy Elliot” features young dancers but don’t take your pre-teens along unless you’re comfortable with them hearing some rather colorful cursing.

For tamer fare, take your family to the Ballet Academy of Arizona performance of “Peter Pan” Sun, May 15 at the Herberger Theater Center in downtown Phoenix.

Like ASU Gammage and Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, the Herberger often presents diverse dance performance it’s sometimes harder to find other places.

Ballet Arizona presents its “Celebration of Balanchine” featuring three works by this “father of modern ballet” June 2-5 at Symphony Hall in Phoenix. Music is by Ravel, Stravinsky and others.

Ballet Arizona presents a different program of Balanchine works each Spring — which are consistently breathtaking in the hands of Ballet Arizona artistic director Ib Andersen. Andersen danced with the New York City Ballet while Balanchine served as its ballet master and principal choreographer.

This time of year plenty of schools and dance studios present their spring dance recitals — which often feature works perfect for families at low or no cost. Check with your local high schools, colleges/universities, dance studios and performing arts venues to find the best fit for your dance tastes and interests.

I noticed while driving past Arcadia High School in Phoenix the other day that they have a dance performance scheduled for Thurs, May 5 and Fri, May 6 at 7pm. And Chandler-Gilbert Community College recently alerted me to their “Student Dance Showcase” taking place Fri, May 6 and Sat, May 7 at 8pm ($3-$5/ticket).

If your school or dance studio is presenting a dance performance (this month or next) that’s open to the public, please comment below to let “Stage Mom” readers know. To find other dance and art-related events for families, visit the online calendar from Raising Arizona Kids magazine.

I’m off to see if I can interest Pinky is donning a tutu or some other dance fashion for a photo I can drop back into this post for your later amusement. But never fear, no pets are ever harmed in the making of my word art. What’ll become of the tutu, however, is anyone’s guess.

— Lynn

Note: Watch for the June issue of Raising Arizona Kids magazine, which includes an “AZ Generations” column profiling the family of a Valley dancer and dance instructor who describes herself as a “bunhead by birth.”

Coming up: Childsplay actors — on stage and off

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