Homecoming Evening of Pas de Deux a Thank You for a Career in Dance

Matthew Carter in “The Nutcracker”. Courtesy of Matthew Carter.

By Steve Sucato

For Erie-native and former dancer with the Lake Erie Ballet, his production of Summer Stars – An Evening of Ballet at the historic Warner Theatre in Erie, Pennsylvania, Friday, June 29 is a homecoming, a thank you and the first steps in saying goodbye to his long stage career.

Carter who currently dances with Ballet Vero Beach in Vero Beach, Florida and is ballet master for American Midwest Ballet (formerly Ballet Nebraska), began his dance training in Erie, Pennsylvania at the Lake Erie Ballet School and at Little’s Dance Studio. He went on to study at the North Carolina School of the Arts, Miami City Ballet School, and the Chautauqua Institution before pursuing a professional career with Lake Erie Ballet, Ohio Ballet, Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo and Omaha Theater Ballet before joining Ballet Vero Beach. Carter has also performed as a guest artist with Hawaii Ballet Theatre, Neglia Ballet Artists and Ballet Tucson. As a choreographer, Carter has created works for a number schools and professional companies and is the co-director of Motion41 Dance in Omaha.

In curating and producing Summer Stars – An Evening of Ballet Carter says: “I have been very fortunate in that…I have not had any serious injuries and have continued to receive wonderful casting opportunities… I also realize that I probably will only dance professionally/full-time for another few seasons.  I wanted to perform in my hometown one more time before retiring (and my family has not seen me perform in quite some time), so I organized a group of my colleagues and friends for a one-time performance.”

Corsaire Arab.
“Le Corsaire” pas de deux. Courtesy of Matthew Carter.
Alexandra Arab.
Courtesy of Matthew Carter.

Carter calls the program as an evening of all pas de deux’s (dances for two) from the classical repertoire. The program will feature excerpts from “Bournonville Divertissement” including the pas from Flower Festival at Genzano as staged by Nilas Martins, the Swan Lake Act II pas de deux from, the Snow King  and Queen pas de deux from Erika Overturff’s The Nutcracker, a pas de deux from Carter’s “American Sparkler,” a parody of “The Dying Swan” (satire as performed en traveste by Camilo Rodriguez), selections from Act II of Giselle and pas de deuxs from Romeo and Juliet, Le Corsaire and Don Quixote. Also on the program will be a work performed by student dancers from Little Dance Studio as well as Rodriguez’s original duet “Winter Maple” and the finale “Starlight” set to big band music.

Joining Carter onstage will be American Midwest Ballet dancers Katherine Eppink, Katie van der Mars, Wyatt Payne, Claire Goodwillie, Anders Southerland, Anna Swenson, Kelsey Schwenker, Ryan Christopher and Alexandra Hoffman. Also appearing will be Camilo Rodriguez and Adam Schnell from Ballet Vero Beach.

Summer Stars – An Evening of Ballet will be performed 7:00 p.m., Friday, June 29, Warner Theatre, 811 State St, Erie, PA. Tickets are $18 and available by calling (814) 452-4857, at erieevents.com or at the Erie Insurance Arena box office.



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