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So Cincinnati: Cincinnati Ballet

CINCINNATI (Jeff Hirsh) -- This weekend the Cincinnati Ballet wraps up it's fiftieth anniversary season with performances at the Aronoff Center.

From humble but ambitious origins, the ballet has risen to national prominence without losing connection to its home town.  Born in an era of black and white, the Cincinnati Ballet has soared boldly into bright and dazzling color.  The ballet is wrapping up it's fiftieth season, challenging the dancers, and the people who watch them.

Dancer and soloist Courtney Connor Jones says, "I'm motivated by the drive to be the best I can be.  I'm motivated by that and by the audience because they want to see something that moves their soul."
An eight-year veteran of the ballet, Courtney Connor Jones was sort of destined to do this.  She started dancing when she was three.  Ballet is a young person's game mostly, but for this company's 50 years,  one person has been here 45.

Music Director and Conductor, Carmon DeLeone, said, "45 years have gone by in a flash.  When it was 25 years it felt as if I had just started.  35 years there was a bobblehead produced to honor that.  That seemed to go by in a hurry.  It continues to go on and I want it to go on as long as possible."
It's a little harder for dancers to go on and on.  There's only so much jumping and pounding a body can take.  Local 12's Jeff Hirsh resisted the urge to show how he can dance on his toes in case he were to fall on his face!  But if you wonder how ballet dancers do it, obviously they're very athletic, but their shoes have these flat fronts which allows them to stand on their toes.  After lots of practice of course.

Jones tells Local 12, "It takes years. It's not just the foot strength but also the leg strength so you can get yourself up and balance there as opposed to going up and falling off."
There's another kind of balance here as well.  Balancing classical performance with contemporary.  But either way, it's uplifting.

Artistic Director and CEO, Victoria Morgan, said, "And sometimes you need that perspective of saying look what's possible in life, isn't it amazing what these bodies can do?  And so it means I can do something too. It just gives our community a richness that it otherwise wouldn't have."
And has been So Cincinnati for 50 years.  The ballet performs Friday night, Saturday afternoon, and Saturday night at the Aronoff to music from the local folk-rock band, "Over-The-Rhine."  That's more than appropriate, because Over-The-Rhine is where the ballet's studios are located.

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