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A new full-length ballet "Song of Wyoming" created by Tom Morrell, Artistic Director of Northwest Michigan Ballet Theatre Read more

Traverse City, MI Dance
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A new full-length ballet "Song of Wyoming" created by Tom Morrell, Artistic Director of Northwest Michigan Ballet Theatre

Traverse City, MI Dance
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Tom Morrell
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Tom Morrell

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About this project

To Be Presented For The First Time On February 16th, 2013!

Starting a ballet from scratch is both exciting and daunting! Northwest Michigan Ballet Theater artistic director Tom Morrell launches a new project from an inspiration: a story, some music, a vision of what he plans to bring to life on stage. As he sifts through songs and begins sketching out a narrative, he is also shaping choreography to tell the story in dance.

Song of Wyoming stems from Tom’s childhood fascination with Westerns and the Old West era in the United States. He was captivated by numerous classic TV shows and movies he watched as a kid. In fact, some of the iconic musical themes from the 1950s and 1960s shows are woven into this ballet’s score.

As the idea for a Western-themed ballet began to take root over the summer, Tom searched out a storyline that he could adapt: one featuring lots of romance and action, fun and tender moments. When he struck out finding one, Tom decided to write the Song of Wyoming story from scratch.

He developed a cast of characters – a rancher and saloon keeper, a sheriff and cattle baron, Eastern ladies and little girls, gamblers and cowboys – and fit them, their movements and motivations to his dancers.

Hours and hours of creative time go into each dance, costume, set piece and moment on stage. All this effort is invisible to the audience – as it should be. From conception to teaching the dancers to polishing for the final performance on stage, Tom makes each decision and direction based on transporting the audience into the story.

While immersed in this creative zone for months, Tom is also thinking about the bottom line: money to fund his vision and share it with the community. He manages all aspects of the program himself, with help from part-time office help and a dedicated rehearsal assistant. Plus a volunteer board of directors for Northwest Michigan Ballet Theatre.

Usually a production of the scope and quality presented by Tom and his dancers means many staff and even more volunteers. However, he makes it all work and this year is asking for additional funding help from the Kickstarter community.

The $5,000 goal of the Song of Wyoming Kickstarter campaign will fund male guest dancers, an amazing professional costumer, a talented set designer and materials for both of those tasks.

Song of Wyoming is his ninth original ballet and is shaping up to be his best offering yet! Please consider helping today with a donation supporting Song of Wyoming.

GENERAL AND BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Founded in 1997 by artistic director Thomas Morrell, the purpose of the Traverse City-based youth company is to develop technical excellence and provide performance opportunities for dancers while also offering arts education by introducing regional audiences to innovative dance theater.

Mr. Morrell always presents original, full-length ballets to the community. He has also toured his ballets to smaller communities in the region that are under-served by the arts. In addition, for the past four seasons, he has presented excerpts of his annual ballet for free to a packed audience of young people and their parents at the Traverse Area District Library.

The company's full repertoire includes classic faerie tales from many cultures as well as a Biblical story and piece set at the dawn of World War II.

The list below illustrates the scope of the company's breadth and depth – an artistic impact that over 15 seasons has featured more than a hundred youth dancers and enchanted thousands.

“Scenes from A Park” – 2012, 2006 and 2002

“The Legend of Knockgraften” – 2011, 2003 and 1998

“Hansel and Gretel” – 2010, 2008, 2000

“The Princess Peony” – 2010

“A Midsummer Night's Faerie Tale” – 2009 and 2001

“Whither Thou Goest: The Story of Ruth” – 2007

“Diedre of the Sorrows” – 2005 and 1999

“Twelve Dancing Princesses” – 2004

Dancers audition to participate in the Northwest Michigan Ballet Theatre. Acceptance is based on ability and commitment to performance opportunities. The dancers in the company are truly exceptional, logging hundreds of hours every season rehearsing and perfecting the ballets. The resulting performances bring to life Mr. Morrell’s artistic vision, creative energy and exacting technical standards. The productions are truly on a par with a professional ballet company’s work.

Risks and challenges

We do not anticipate any issues in delivering our gifts to our backers. We will fulfill all gifts at all levels in a timely manner. Those who gift at the ticket levels will be able to pick up their tickets on the day of the premiere, which is Saturday, February 16, 2013.

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FAQ

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  • You selected
    $1 reward

    2 backers

    Every dollar counts and we appreciate your kindness in helping us to premier our new full-length ballet, "Song of Wyoming". You will receive our heart-felt thanks and a photo of the Northwest Michigan Ballet Theatre performers.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    $10 reward

    4 backers

    Your pledge today of $10 will not go unrecognized! We will send you a special note of thanks along with a photo of the "Song of Wyoming" dancers. We will also list you as a generous backer of our project in our web site and in our program.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    $40 reward

    4 backers

    Pledge today and a decorative tree ornament will be delivered to you. This unique gift prominently placed on your tree year after year will help you recall your generous support of the premier of "Song of Wyoming". We will send you our sincerest thanks and appreciation along with a photo of the ballet company and we will list you as a pledger in our web site and our program.

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    $60 reward

    1 backer

    This special pledge level entitles you to receive a "Song of Wyoming" poster signed by each dancer and Tom Morrell. We will also send you our special tree ornament and a note of gratitude to include a photo of the Northwest Michigan Ballet Theatre performers. You can be certain we will list you as a backer of our new ballet in our program and on our web site as well.

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    $85 reward

    11 backers Limited (14 left of 25)

    **Early Bird Special** Be one of the first 25 pledgers to generously support our project at this level and we will send you 2 tickets to the premiere performance of "Song of Wyoming" a fabulous t-shirt, a signed poster and a tree ornament. We of course will acknowledge our appreciation with a note of thanks and a photo of the company dancers. You will also be listed as a backer of our project with a listing in our program and on our web site.

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    $125 reward

    2 backers

    When you graciously pledge $125 in support of our new ballet we will send you 2 tickets to the premiere performance of "Song of Wyoming". You will also receive a great t-shirt, a signed poster and our tree ornament. We will send you a special thank you note with a photo of the dancers and include a listing of your contribution in our program and on our web site.

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    $250 reward

    2 backers

    With your most generous pledge of $250 to help us present Song of Wyoming you will receive 4 tickets to the premiere performance. You will also receive two t-shirts with the ballet's logo, a signed poster and our tree ornament. We will send you a special thank you note with a photo of the dancers and include a listing of your contribution in our program and on our web site.

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    $500 reward

    0 backers

    An extraodinary gift of $500 will entitle you to receive 8 tickets to the premiere performance of Song of Wyoming. You will also receive two t-shirts with the ballet's logo, a signed poster and our tree ornament. A special gift of pointe shoes signed by the performers and Mr. Morrell will also be yours when you pledge at this very generous donation level. Of course, we will send you a special thank you note with a photo of the dancers and include a listing of your contribution in our program and on our web site.

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States

Funding period

- (24 days)