RiverPointe Dance Academy’s ‘It Began in Bethlehem’ is Dec. 3

Published 8:13 pm Friday, November 25, 2016

Beginning in 2010, the RiverPointe Dance Academy started offering a Christmas performance focused on the birth of Christ.

Every other year since, the studio has performed the original production, which was choreographed by owner and instructor of the dance studio, Bridgett Hunt, and her sister, Holly Claborn.

This year’s performance of “It Began in Bethlehem” is scheduled to start at 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, at the Vicksburg City Auditorium, 901 Monroe St.

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Hunt said because her studio was founded on fostering a Christian atmosphere that is grounded in technique, the idea of performing a ballet about the story of Jesus’ birth was a natural fit for the studio’s winter performance.

For the production, Hunt said her younger students are assigned parts in the performance, while the older dancers audition for parts.

“It’s really sweet how everyone involved looks forward to participating in this show every other year. Because the studio is blessed to continue to grow, we have had to add and expand details of the story to give every class a part each year that we perform it,” Hunt said, “but dancers are always excited to revisit the traditional parts that we’ve established as well.”

From Mary to the lowly animals in the stable, Hunt said she spends a lot of time with her students talking about what each character means in the ballet, how they are portrayed and what a responsibility it is to tell this story accurately and reverently.

“The little ones who play the sheep, donkeys, cows and doves are always super fun and excited to be in the manger scene,” Hunt said, “and I’m always humbled by the time and reflection I see our older dancers spend on their parts.” 

Hunt’s favorite part of the production is its advent, she said.

“I love the story of Jesus’ birth in general, and for me, my favorite part of the ballet is in the preparation and encouraging the students of all ages to really put themselves in the story and imagine what it was like to be a part of the story of the most important birth in the history of the world,” Hunt said.

Leading roles for this year’s production, include Vera Ann Fedell as Mary, Beth Fortner as Joseph and Annabeth Breeden as the angel.

Anna Kate McCain will dance the role of the innkeeper, and Asia Brown, Anna Brady and Lydia Fraley will be shepherds. Wisemen will be Lauren Brady, Sofie Fraley and Hannah Griffith, and Meghan Scribner will be King Herrod.

Tickets for the ballet are $8 or $12 for reserved seating and are available at the dance studio, 3429 Halls Ferry Road, Suite B. Tickets will also be sold at the door for $10.

For more information, call 601-218-7392.

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

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