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Getting to the "pointe" in our community

Classical ballet isn't for everyone...

But it should be! That's why Makaroff Youth Ballet's Artistic Director Jeanette Makaroff took on the arduous task of bring the story ballet "Peter and the Wolf" to life in an innovative, collaborative way.

Two years ago, MYB began working with community partners including the Appleton Area School District, the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center, and the Fox Valley Symphony Orchestra on a project designed to ignite an early spark for often-inaccessible art forms for youth in our community by dismantling some of the visible and invisible barriers people face when it comes to high-impact performance events like the one our dancers are finally bringing to the stage for thousands of first graders this week.

Most school-age children lack opportunities to see professional, classically-trained musicians like members of our symphony orchestra in a setting like the PAC--and for them to do so during the school day, with a carefully-crafted curriculum and takeaway materials for teachers is unprecedented.

The fact that our young company of dancers bridges that space between childhood and profesional, grown-up performer is one of the ways in which this performance delivers something meaningful: students see dancers achieving physical feats they cannot even imagine being performed by people who they may have met. One member of our pilot audience recognized his babysitter, and many of the children knew siblings of the dancers, which made the production as aspirational as it was approachable.

We hope the audience members' flights of fancy during the production engender leaps of imagination, physical and artistic risk taking, and growth that matches the effort, passion, and creativity our company demonstrates every day.

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