As a composer, I am passionate about introducing audiences to contemporary classical music. I chose to compose a twenty-five-minute children's ballet titled The Wishing Well based on the fairytale Diamonds and Toads. It premiered on April 2, 2016 at the Bowling Green Performing Arts Center in collaboration with choreographer Sophia Schmitz and conductor Robert Ragoonanan. Other elements of the project included set design, costuming, lighting, audio and video recording, and marketing. The mission was to provide the local community with a free arts event, introduce young audiences to music and ballet, enrich people’s lives through music and dance, provide young ballerinas with the opportunity to perform a ballet, and expand the repertoire of contemporary ballet.
Attendance at the event was high due to marketing efforts and the number of people who contributed to the project. The performance hall, seating 750 people, was over halfway full. Throughout the process, I discovered that children are receptive to new sounds and experiences. In fact, they were more engaged because it was unique.
Although dance collaboration is becoming more prevalent in the contemporary music scene and many important 20th century compositions are ballets, few Bowling Green State University composers have worked in the genre. In fact, no other composer has written a ballet during her time at the university. I believe that ballet is a captivating genre that will draw new audiences to contemporary music, and I hope The Wishing Well is a stepping-stone to further dance collaborations in the Bowling Green community.
First Advisor Department
Emily Freeman Brown
Second Advisor Department
Music Performance Studies
Dempsey, Lydia, "The Wishing Well: A Children's Ballet (A Composer's Perspective)" (2016). Honors Projects. 217.