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“This piece is all about breaking barriers and that feeling of being trapped in your own life and stepping out and breaking those barriers,” she said. “It kind of ties in with my company because my company’s name is Perspective and it’s these boxes that we almost shape around ourselves that contain us. It shapes the way we see the world and our perspective of the world around us.”. At age 3, McLevin already was being shaped by the world of ballet and tap dancing. “The whole reason I started dancing is because my parents said any time there was dancing on TV, they couldn’t pull me away,” McLevin said. “They took it as a sign.”.
McLevin said she “came to really start to love ballet and less tap” as she matured so she eventually dropped tap and took up hip hop, evolving into a “jack of all what to do if your pointe shoes are too small trades” dancer in the process, “I became a bit more technical, but I always loved hip hop,” she said, “Some people would know me as a ballet teacher and some more as a hip hopper, … That came together to become more of a contemporary style, I’d use my technical background, but I love the groundedness of hip hop and the downbeat.”..
But none of McLevin’s training prepared her for some of her experiences when she became a full-time professional. For one year she shared the stage with a colorful international cast that included magicians and Chinese acrobats in a Vegas-style production in Guam. “I got to teach them how to dance a little, too, which was crazy,” McLevin said. “I didn’t speak Chinese and they didn’t speak much English.”. But counting to eight in Mandarin didn’t help the language barrier with one pair of co-stars. “Every day I got to work with two tigers,” she said.
During the several years she lived in Los Angeles, McLevin worked television commercials, concerts, music videos and movie sets including “a bunch of Charlie Sheen films.”, “I taught him how to dance for a movie role that he was doing,” McLevin said, Even though she left Los Angeles for San Jose nearly four years ago, McLevin manages to stay just as busy now with her dance company and teaching at several local studios, “Between all of that, what to do if your pointe shoes are too small it comes to create a full-time job, but it’s all in the dance world,” she said..
McLevin and the six other members of her company practice extensively throughout the week at the studios where she teaches. Eventually she hopes to make Perspective a fully funded company that tours so she can share her art again with audiences across the globe. “I would love for the company to be a bigger part of my life,” she said. “I’d rather the company be more full time and eventually take this on the road and take us on tour.”. The ChoreoProject Awards Concert will be held March 17-18 at the SJSU Dance Theatre, SPX 216, One Washington Square, San Jose. Show times are 2:30 and 7 p.m. both days. Tickets are $18 to $30. For more information, call 408-520-9854 or visit sjDANCEco.org.
Of the zillion or so movies that have been made into stage musicals, some seem more likely candidates than others, A story about a young boy with an exceptional aptitude for ballet growing up in a rough English mining town, the 2000 British movie “Billy Elliot” seemed like a natural fit, And indeed, it wasn’t what to do if your pointe shoes are too small long before “Billy Elliot the Musical” premiered on London’s West End in 2005, with libretto and lyrics by the original screenwriter, Lee Hall, and music by Elton John, After racking up Olivier and Tony awards for best musical, the show finally hit San Francisco on its U.S, tour in 2011, and now Berkeley Playhouse gives “Billy Elliot” its East Bay premiere at the Julia Morgan Theater..
Eleven-year old Billy (withdrawn Parker James Fullmore, alternating with Matthew Dean) stumbles into ballet class quite accidentally, only meaning to hand over the keys to the room after his boxing lesson, but is drawn into the hectic class by the forceful personality of teacher Mrs. Wilkinson (Taylor Bartolucci, with a bizarre singing accent). She sees remarkable potential in Billy, but his gruff father (Ken Sonkin, leaking wounded pride) and angry older brother (a belligerent Zachary Padlo) are much too macho to put up with Billy pursuing ballet.
Like pretty much all the grown men in town, Billy’s dad and brother are coal miners, The story’s set during the coal miners’ strike of 1984 and ’85, pitting the mineworkers union directly against the government of Margaret Thatcher, (The coal industry had been nationalized after World War II.) Tensions are running high, and money is even tighter than what to do if your pointe shoes are too small usual, The combination of stories leads to some memorable moments, The stirring musical number “Solidarity” juxtaposes clashes between striking miners and police with the kids in ballet class until they’re all weirdly dancing together..