Arts & Entertainment

Dancing the Grimm tale of 'Hansel & Gretel'

The Brothers Grimm, Wilhelm and Jakob, had a thing about wicked old witches when they told their fabled stories.

Snow White had to deal with a nasty old witch, and so did Cinderella and Hansel & Gretel.

The Mid-Columbia Ballet will tackle the old hag from Hansel & Gretel this weekend when they present the full-length ballet story of the babes who got lost in the woods.

The story revolves around Hansel and his sister Gretel, who risk being baked into gingerbread by a wicked forest witch. Using their wits, they outsmart the crone and bake her into gingerbread. Then the children free all the other children who had fallen under the witch's spell.

The $20,000 set, as well as the costumes for this ballet, were professionally designed and built specifically for the Mid-Columbia Ballet by Seattle's Production Network company.

But before the curtain rises, the audience will have plenty to keep them busy as the dance company plans to offer some pre-show entertainment.

"This is a great event for children," said Joel Rogo, co-director of the company. "There will be arts and crafts activities before the performance and during intermission. After the show, audience members will also have an opportunity to meet the cast."

Rogo also plans to hold a question and answer period where he will explain to the kids how some of the magic is made in a ballet production.

What: Hansel & Gretel, a Mid-Columbia Ballet production.

When: 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Where: Richland High auditorium.

Cost: $11 for ages 13 and older and $6 for kids 12 and younger.

Tickets: Tri-Cities Academy of Ballet on Aaron Drive in Richland or at the door.

* Dori O'Neal: 582-1514;