Murray • In 1988, shortly after the city built its new amphitheater, officials asked The Ballet Center in Murray to give a free performance on the new stage.
Susan Wright, owner and founder of the school, accepted the offer unaware that it would become a tradition that would continue for a quarter-century.
Friday and Saturday, July 12-13, mark the 25th anniversary of the school's "Ballet Under the Stars" performance at Murray Park.
High-school- and college-aged dancers will perform an original one-act ballet titled "Circus of Friends" as well as pieces from "Le Corsaire," "The Fly" and "Pinocchio."
The show offers a blend of repertory pieces along with some light-hearted humor, said Wright, whose daughter, Michelle Armstrong, choreographed the show.
The family's love of dancing continues into a third generation. Armstrong's 18-year-old daughter, Elizabeth, has started to choreograph and is a teaching assistant at her grandmother's dance studio.
"I think I was born living ballet," said Armstrong, who is pursuing a bachelor's degree in ballet at the University of Utah.
The "Ballet Under the Stars" show is part of the Murray Arts in the Park series that runs from late May through Labor Day and includes performances by the Murray band and other local talent. Upcoming shows in the series include performances of "Twelve Dancing Princesses" and "Oklahoma!" as well as jazz and acoustic music concerts.
Wright urges others to "support their local talent."
As part of "Ballet Under the Stars," The Ballet Centre will host a free ballet clinic for children on Saturday, July 13. It will be taught by the performers of the show.
Wright noted that the kids get excited when the performers invite them backstage that night to see them in their costumes.
Ballet Under the Stars
When • Friday and Saturday, July 12-13, 8:30 p.m.
Where • Murray Park Amphitheater, 495 E. 5300 South, Murray
Tickets • $8
Details • The Ballet Center offers a free two-hour ballet clinic for children 5 to 18 on Saturday at 10 a.m. The class will be taught by the performers of the show at The Ballet Centre, 70 E. 4880 South, Murray. Lunch is included. Call 801-266-5066 for more information.