Rogers Ballet’s ‘Fun and Games’ dance concert will bring board games to life

05/16/2013 5:09 PM

08/08/2014 10:33 AM

You could play board games this weekend.

Or you could just watch them dance.

“Fun and Games” is the title this year of the intricately choreographed and costumed annual student concert put on by Rogers Ballet Inc., headed by well-known local ballet mistress Sharon Rogers.

The concert, which will be staged at 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday in Sebits Auditorium in Friends University’s Riney Fine Arts Center, will bring to life classic board games such Scrabble, Monopoly and Candy Land through dance.

The routine themes aren’t limited just to board games, though, Rogers said. Numbers in the concert also will involve jump roping, tea parties, croquet – even the Wichita River Festival River Run.

“It’s things that are lighthearted,” said Rogers, who’s in her 35th year of planning the concert for her dance school. “It’s any kind of thing that’s considered to be amusement.”

Rogers always weaves a storyline through the concert, which connects one dance to another. She spends the entire year dreaming up the story line, choreographing the dances, choosing the costumes, teaching the numbers to the dancers and perfecting every last detail.

“That’s why I work seven days a week,” she said with a laugh.

This year’s show will feature about 60 dancers, who range from 4-year-old beginners to Friends dance majors to adult ballet students.

It also will include a number by Courtney Runft, a former student of Rogers’ who has gone on to make it as a tap dancer and teacher in New York City. She’ll return to Wichita to appear in the show, starring in a number that celebrates the game of tag.

The show, Rogers says, is a way for families of the dancers to see how much progress they’ve made in class. But her end-of-the-year events have never been called “recitals” because they’re designed to be entertaining even to people who don’t know any of the dancers.

“I call them student concerts because they’re something anyone would enjoy whether they know someone in the show or not,” she said. “I put it together like a concert. It’s really lighthearted and is a gift to the community.”

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