It’s unlikely you know the name of the songwriter (it’s Felix Bernard) or the lyricist (he was Richard B. Smith), but their 1934 joint venture produced a song that became a holiday evergreen: “Winter Wonderland.” In Bernard and Smith’s fictive landscape, sleigh bells rang, snow glistened, and a Vegas-style snowman helped young lovers tie the knot.
But Honesdale, Pennsylvania, which inspired Dick Smith to pen the classic is no Telluride, where “winter wonderland” is an everyday reality. The upcoming Palm Arts Dance program– Saturday, December 17, 7 p.m. at the Michael D. Palm Theatre – restates the obvious and punctuates with color in form of toy soldiers, peppermint-striped bows, snowflakes in the form of tutus, and best of all, 80 local dance students ranging in age from three to 17.
The recital, “A Winter Wonderland,” features 15 different pieces, including traditional ballet, hip hop, and contemporary dance set to music from “The Nutcracker,” plus “Twelve Days of Christmas,” Joey Dee and the Starlighters’ “Peppermint Twist,” and Christine Aguilera’s “Christmas Tree.”
“Winter Wonderland” marks the culmination of 13 weeks of dances classes offered by artistic director Valerie Madonia, a former principal dancer with the Joffrey Ballet, and the newly formed Palm Arts Dance Program.
Palm Arts was formed in Fall 2011, just after the Ames Conservatory (which had purchased the Telluride Dance Academy) closed its door for good. The focus of Madonia and Palm Arts Dance is to provide a stable home for dance education year ’round, including a full range of classes for young people, master classes, workshops featuring acclaimed guest instructors, and summer intensives. Palm Arts Dance Program’s current enrollment boasts over 90 local students. In addition to Madonia, talented dancers and popular teachers include Shirley Fortenberry, Jessica Galbo, Amanda Sturdevant, and Josh Landis.
“A very dedicated group of parents and students have helped nurture our new program because they want to see dance continue to thrive in Telluride,” said Heather Rommel, director, Palm Arts. “With the Palm Theatre stage as its venue, and with the addition of a new studio space to be completed in March of 2012, the future of dance education in Telluride is now secure.”
General admission for “A Winter Wonderland” is $10 for students, $20 for adults. Tickets are available at www.telluridepalm.com or by calling 970-369-5669.
Doors open at 6:30 p.m.