Dancers take The Dixie Stage with Ballet
Memphis during “The Wizard of Oz”
HUNTINGDON (January 18) — Performing in front of a packed
house, members of The Martin Dance Company joined the
professional Ballet Memphis dancers during their production of
“The Wizard of Oz” held at The Dixie Carter Performing Arts
Center Friday night.
Under the direction of Michael & Cornelia Link, The Martin Dance
students attend class weekly at The Dixie on Wednesday evenings.
Preparing for their role since August, the group of students—who
performed as “The Munchkins” —practiced their dance during
weekly classes. They rehearsed with members of Ballet Memphis
this past Thursday evening and had a dress rehearsal Friday
afternoon before the show. Members of the Ballet Memphis staff
were very impressed with “The Munchkins” and how they mastered
the difficult choreography. Performing the roles of “The
Munchkins” were Amber Eason, Molly Sturgis, Kelsey Hand,
Ashleigh Coleman, Amber Staten, Alexis Bennett, Hailey Dvorak,
Krista Hernandez, Katie Holt, and Adora Carty.
The ballet, “The Wizard of Oz” is a Ballet Memphis original
production based on the movie version of the L. Frank Baum tale.
Ballet Memphis is a creative resource to the nation as a maker
and interpreter of the South’s cultural legacy through dance,
production, and training. Artistic Director Dorothy Gunther Pugh
founded the company in 1986 as Memphis Concert Ballet with two
professional dancers and a budget of $75,000. Today, Ballet
Memphis employs 16 professional dancers and has a $3.2 million
budget. The company performs at the historic Orpheum Theatre in
downtown Memphis, as well as at nontraditional venues throughout
the city. Ballet Memphis has performed in Paris, New York,
Houston, and Quebec. The Ballet Memphis School trains more than
600 students annually.