BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) — Buffalo's ballet company is celebrating its 20th season in the Queen City. Neglia Ballet Artist is preparing for its spring gala to be held next month. We stopped by a rehearsal at Neglia’s studio in the Tri-Main building where they are preparing for a mix of dance, puppetry and Mozart.
Buffalo – known for chicken wings, Sabres and Bills – isn't recognized as a ballet town, but for the last 20-years – Neglia has been delighting new generations with its unique international trademark. Co-founder and artist director Sergio Neglia is a native of Argentina.
“It's very emotional because - we lasted in this environment for so long,” declared Neglia.
Money raised at the company's upcoming gala will help benefit Neglia's education outreach program, such as CityDance, where they partner with Buffalo Public Schools introducing inner-city students to ballet.
“For this gala – for instance – we have people who are coming from different kind of schools too and they have never seen ballet, so we are reaching for people that who have never even seen a theatrical piece,” remarked Neglia.
Because of his international ties, Neglia often brings in world-famous choreographer Viktor Plotnikov, from Ukraine, to create unique pieces.
During a rehearsal, we watched as Neglia portrays Mozart - emerging as an infant - surrounded by angel dancers and then transforms into an old man.
“This piece is very theatrical – besides the interest – it would be fantastic because of the collaboration of the different genres,” said Plotnikov.
You don't have to be a ballet expert to enjoy the artistry of Neglia. The May 18th gala performance will include a mix of classical and contemporary dance, puppetry and theater.