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Gerald Carpenter: ‘Rudolph’ to Light the Way at Lobero

Gustafson Dance will offer two performances of the children's ballet on Saturday

The “Gustafson” of Gustafson Dance is the same — Rodney Gustafson — who is artistic director of the State Street Ballet and its cadet branch, the Young Dancers, who are all dance students at Gustafson Dance.

So it’s safe to assume that the school’s upcoming production of the children’s ballet Rudolph — at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4, at the Lobero Theatre — will be on the very high level of artistic merit that we have come to expect from the State Street Ballet.

The eponymous Rudolph, of course, is the famous reindeer with the rosy proboscis, who is a would-be member of Team Santa.

The ballet tells of his life in this way: “The story begins with the birth of a young reindeer with a seemingly unfortunate nonconformity: a blinking red nose. Santa is not interested in Rudolph for his team of reindeer, and the other reindeer tease him and shun him. Rudolph sets off on his own and discovers that there are many who do not fit in the Land of Misfit Toys. The toys with certain defects dance for Rudolph and explain the need for him to plead their case to Santa. In this snowy adventure, Rudolph befriends an elf who wants to be a dancer, a miner who can’t find gold and eventually the Abominable Snowman. All ends well, as Santa and the other reindeer realize that those who are different have much to offer.”

Well, we said it was a children’s ballet.

Admission to Rudolph is $17 for adults and $8.50 for children age 12 or younger. They’re available at the Lobero box office at 33 E. Canon Perdido St. or 803.963.0761, or click here to order online.

— Gerald Carpenter covers the arts as a Noozhawk contributor. He can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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