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Chautauqua Regional Youth Ballet closes 2013 FES

Part of the excitement of hosting the Chautauqua Regional Youth Ballet is that after the performance, all of the kids in the audience try their hardest to relevé and pirouette. Holding tight onto a parent’s hand for support — each hoping, even if just for one night, to be the next prima ballerina.

Closing this season’s Family Entertainment Series, the Chautauqua Regional Youth Ballet from Jamestown, N.Y., will perform at 7 p.m. tonight in Elizabeth S. Lenna Hall. This marks the ballet company’s eighth performance at Chautauqua Institution.

“I just think it’s a beautiful art form — dance, ballet,” said Monika Alch, CRYB artistic director. “I think that everybody can enjoy it if they understand ballet, or [if] they don’t.”

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Musial brings animal kingdom to Smith Wilkes for FES program

Jeff Musial likes to keep late-night talk show host Jimmy Fallon on his toes.

With 24 appearances under his belt on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon,” Musial takes pleasure in frightening the host with an assortment of especially creepy crawlers.

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FES features furry four-legged friends

It takes about one month to teach a dog how to jump rope.

It might take a little longer to get the animal to walk a tightrope or to balance on a broom.

Johnny Peers brings his traveling, canine-centric comedy act “Johnny Peers & The Muttville Comix” to Smith Wilkes Hall today at 5 and 7 p.m. as part of the Family Entertainment Series, marking his first time at Chautauqua Institution.

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A dancer from the Chautauqua Regional Youth Ballet performs in a previous season's Family Entertainment Series appearance in Elizabeth S. Lenna Hall. Daily file photo.

CRYB brings youth to classical moves

The Chautauqua Regional Youth Ballet brings youth back to classical dance. Their classical dancers range from children to pre-professional, and the school reminds audiences of the values and beauty of classical dance.

“It’s important for our mission to keep classical dance vibrant and to expose children to classical dance,” said Elizabeth Bush, CRYB’s executive director. “It’s nice to show younger children classical dance performed by children and teenagers.”

CRYB takes the stage at 7 p.m. tonight in Elizabeth S. Lenna Hall as part of the Family Entertainment Series.

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Brian Kushmaul, principal percussionist in the CSO and member of Ibis, shows students in Trinidad a cajon drum. Photo courtesy of Michelle Nunes.

Ibis Ensemble puts Caribbean spin on Little Red Riding Hood

Children at Chautauqua may have heard of Little Red Riding Hood, but it is unlikely they know the Midnight Robber or the Blue Devil of Paramin.

Those are traditional figures from Trinidadian Carnival and characters in the Ibis Ensemble’s performance of their Caribbean-flavored “Little Red Riding Hood.”

The Ibis Ensemble will play the contemporary work at 6:30 p.m. tonight in Smith Wilkes Hall as part of the Family Entertainment Series, along with other tribal music from Trinidad and Tobago.

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Hobey Ford with a caterpillar puppet. Submitted photo.

Animals come to life through puppets in Ford’s ‘Animalia’ FES performance

The bald eagle swoops through the crowd, wings flapping. Though it’s not a living, breathing creature, the puppet crafted and controlled by puppeteer Hobey Ford looks and moves like the real thing.

Ford will take the stage with a host of animal puppets at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. tonight in Smith Wilkes Hall as part of the Family Entertainment Series. His show, “Animalia,” teaches animal behavior through art.

“ ‘Animalia’ is a ballet of animals. We follow a caterpillar as it turns into a butterfly,” Ford said. “The puppets don’t talk. For the most part, they are acting like the real animals.”

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Vocal Trash brings ‘variety show’ to Amp stage for FES

One man’s trash is another man’s instrument when it comes to Vocal Trash, the dance and vocal performance group that takes the Amphitheater stage at 7:30 p.m. tonight as part of the Family Entertainment Series.

“From age 2 to 92, they will be tapping their feet,” said Kelsey Rae, co-owner of Vocal Trash and the group’s lead singer and dancer.

The group creates beats using trash can lids, cans and bottles, encouraging recycling, as its members breakdance across the stage. Though the group is often compared to Stomp, Vocal Trash also offers 40 songs sung by the group’s six members in 90 minutes, Rae said.

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David Epley performs as Doktor Kaboom! Daily file photo.

Doktor Kaboom! rockets to Smith Wilkes stage

David Epley is a real Renaissance man.

He worked the Renaissance fair circuit for 20 years with a trio called Theatre in the Ground before he combined his love for science, performing and comedy into his new traveling persona: Doktor Kaboom!.

“Science is for everybody,” Epley said. “Not just the person in the lab coat or the kid who wins the science fair.”

Epley as Doktor Kaboom! brings the show “It’s Just Rocket Science” to Chautauqua at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. today in Smith Wilkes Hall as part of the Family Entertainment Series. It’s Epley’s third time at Chautauqua as Doktor Kaboom!, but his first time with the show.

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