Dance is more than simple body movements with the assistance of dynamic music. It’s a connection. It moves people, and this movement is an extension of one’s breath. To Marilyn Klaus, artistic director of the New York City-based dance company Ballets with a Twist, ballet is the ultimate extension.

“My goal is to get everybody back into the theatre,” she said during a personal interview.

This goal was accomplished when the ballet company traveled to Ohio Northern University in January for a week of dance and a performance of special dance numbers in “Cocktail Hour: The Show.”

The show reinvents the glamour and excitement of classic ballet entertainment with an original mix of choreography carefully crafted by Klaus. This pop-infused performing arts spectacle combines the magic of Hollywood’s Golden Age with a modernized spirit of the 21st-century. Each dance captures the timeless American spirit in a unique series of vignettes.

Because the show is titled “Cocktail Hour,” it wasn’t surprising each dance number was named after a classic drink.

“Each dance is a different story that comes from the movement of our dancers,” Klaus remarked about the dance repertoire in her show.

As for Morgan Stinnett, a member of the dance ensemble in the production, dance embodies characters.

“I look to my audience and embody my characters. This draws them into the story, and that’s a very cool thing to do,” he remarked.

“I hope to instill a mirror so the audience can see themselves on the stage. Dance is moving people, and this movement is an extension of our breaths. Ballet is the ultimate extension. We go all the way,” Klaus adds.

ONU dance students participated in the opening of the performance, showcasing their dance skills to the Ada community.

Ballets with a Twist visitsed ONU students in a week-long residency program.

“Everyone relates to dance every day. We explore the human body through movement. Dance explores the physical forces of gravity. I want students to get a sense of the rigor style of dance,” Klaus adds.

Stinnett, originally from Akron, Ohio, began dancing when he was six years old. His passion and love for dancing keeps growing with each performance.

“I love the structure of dance. You never have to be perfect because you’re always learning. There’s always something to work toward,” he adds.

Klaus concludes, “Dance makes you humble. It’s [dance] a fast- moving culture. Our performance is going to be fresh and exciting. I’m really looking forward to the performance, but also inspiring the next generation of dancers.”

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