Lone Star Ballet hopes to soar with ‘Peter Pan’
by Chip Chandler — Digital Content Producer
“They pulled me straight up into the air. At first, we just went a foot or two off the ground. It was like, OK, cool – big wedgie.”
That was dancer Christopher Flores’ first introduction to the defining nature of his starring role in the newest original Lone Star Ballet production – “Peter Pan,” opening Friday for a two-day run in the Globe-News Center for the Performing Arts, 500 S. Buchanan St. Performances are set for 8 p.m. Friday and 3 and 8 p.m. Saturday.
Flores and the other cast members who’ll fly in the show, an adaptation of the J.M. Barrie play and novel, began their aerial training Thursday with team members from Flying by Foy, the leader in theatrical flight companies.
“Then we went up 15, 20 feet in the air, and it was – it was spectacular,” Flores said. “You just feel weightless.”
The production will be filled with flying effects, with dancers soaring up to 30 feet over the Globe-News Center stage, said LSB artistic director Vicki McLean.
“I went ahead and choreographed some of it so there would be a blueprint … to go on, and once Harry Christensen got here with Foy, we started collaborating,” McLean said. “There are limitations … but it was fun to think about what I might be able to do. (And) we got almost every single thing in there that I wanted.”
Expect a traditional retelling – albeit a silent one - of the Peter Pan story with some elements from the 1953 Disney film.
After the mischievous Peter first alights in the London bedroom of Wendy, John and Michael Darling (Lauren Fitzpatrick, Erik Prospero and McKinlea Kear), searching for his missing shadow, he convinces the kids to come along with him to Neverland, flying with the help of Tinker Bell’s (Berkley Henderson) fairy dust – and the Foy wires.
Once in Neverland, they encounter a series of adventures, culminating in a battle with a band of pirates led by the dread Captain Hook (Caleb Summers).
Flores said he’s playing Peter as a 12-year-old boy who’s not quite sure of the feelings stirred up by encountering Wendy.
“He’s kind of a two-sided cherub – sweet and playful, but when push comes to shove, I’m willing to get dirty,” Flores said.
The dancer is finding himself in an unaccustomed position in the show.
“Being a male dancer and being used to being the person who’s lifting (other dancers), at first it was a weird aspect,” Flores said. “My entire being was in their hands. But I was pretty quickly able to adjust. … And it’s just fun. It’s great.”
Lone Star Ballet’s “Peter Pan” will be staged at 8 .m. Friday and 3 and 8 p.m. Saturday in the Globe-News Center for the Performing Arts, 500 S. Buchanan St. Tickets are $14 to $44, plus fees. Call 806-378-3096 or visit www.panhandletickets.com.