The Utah Metropolitan Ballet (UMB) world premiere of “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” was produced in collaboration with Italian composer Silvio Amato and recorded by the Budapest Symphony Orchestra. It took place from October 5 to 10 at the Covey Center.
“The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” a beloved literary classic, came to life through the art of ballet in this production. The story follows young Dorothy Gale and her dog Toto, who are swept away by a tornado from their Kansas farm to a new magical world called the Land of Oz. They embark on a quest with three new friends to see the Wizard, who can return her home and fulfill the others’ wishes.
The dancers of UMB were incredibly talented. Hailing from all over the world, including regions such as Japan, Italy, and local Utah, each dancer emanated passion and expert athleticism. It was clear that they were dedicated to the world of dance.
Under the creative direction of UMB Artistic Director and production choreographer Jacqueline P. College, the choreography accentuated the individual strengths of the dancers, enhancing the story communicated to the audience.
The sets were stunning. Scenic designer Nat Reed brought different elements to life by using many techniques, including digital production. The digital aspect helped create a more immersive experience, especially during the tornado scene, and later when Dorothy entered a field of poppies.
Interactive elements were also included as the set spilled off of the stage, allowing the show to continue into the audience. Nat Reed made the characters stand out by capturing the atmosphere of the scene within the backdrops, such as flowers and mushrooms for Munchkinland, and broken tile and mirrors for the Wicked Witch.
Costume designer Suellen Baum exhibited incredible talent with how each character was richly outfitted. There was a wide variety of materials and styles used, leaving the audience in wonder. The Good Witch wore a breathtaking crown, while the tin man was decked out in a quilted gun-metal-color with accents of red. The Wicked Witch wore rhinestones and black silk with an awestriking feathered collar, while the lion had a bouncy tail that took four days for them to design, and the Guardian of the Gate and Keeper of the Keys wore emerald-green speckled with gold. Each piece of costume exemplified the character and the role they played throughout the ballet.
The UMB are a must see for any of their performances. From the moment audience members enter the room, they are captivated with jaw dropping sets and music that immerses them in the character’s world and allows them to delightfully escape the real world for a time. The amazingly talented cast provides a night of fun, where audience members can throw themselves into the story. Do not miss out on their performances or events!
Join the UMB for a season of dreams in their upcoming performances. This includes everyone’s favorite holiday classic, “The Nutcracker,” from December 9 to 20, the timeless tale of “Cinderella” from March 2 to 9, and new works featured in “Tribute” on May 4.
Some of their most popular experiences of the season include: the “Fantastic Feast & Festival” from October 16 to 19, the “Cinderella Gala” on November 17, and “Clara’s Tea Party” on November 25.
Not only does the UMB believe in giving their audience a great experience, but they also love to give back to the community. You can donate to help them in their outreach for families affected by Autism. This money goes to scholarships that are awarded to children with Autism to give them the experience of participating in creative movement workshops. It also creates more free performances for families affected by autism.
To get tickets for any of their upcoming performances, events, or to donate visit: umballet.org.