Farm to Ballet returns to Retreat Farm

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Farm to Ballet returns to Retreat Farm

Thu, 07/08/2021 - 4:49am -- tim

Retreat Farm, Farm to Ballet, 2017. Photo by Michelle Frehsee

Vermont Business Magazine After a two-year hiatus, Farm to Ballet returns to Retreat Farm to celebrate the rich farming culture of Vermont on Saturday, July 10th at 6:00 PM. With dancers dressed as lettuce leaves, goats, pigs, and cows, this whimsical outdoor ballet is sure to delight all ages. Set on a grassy stage, the full-length ballet is an artful expression of farming, food, and our connection to the land through dance.

The production by Ballet Vermont, which travels to farms across Vermont, opens on Saturday at Retreat Farm and features two dancers with strong connections to Brattleboro. 

Megan Gendell, Principal Dancer with Ballet Vermont, recently moved back to Vermont to coach at New England Center for Circus Arts after moving away to pursue her professional career as an international circus artist. Megan is the first female dancer to take on the lead role of the Weathervane/Rooster in Farm to Ballet, debuting in the role on Saturday at Retreat Farm.

Kaitlyn Hayes, a dancer with Portland Ballet, will be dancing the lead role of the Farmer. After the weather cancellation of the Brattleboro Farm to Ballet performance in 2019, Kaitlyn, whose mother lives in Brattleboro, is looking forward to finally performing in front of her family on Saturday.

“We are thrilled to share Retreat Farm as a platform for the incredible artists from across the country that Ballet Vermont has assembled,” noted Lindsay Fahey, Managing Director of Community and Impact. “We are grateful for the support of Prentiss Smith in helping bring this special event back to Retreat Farm.”

"Prentiss Smith & Co is proud to support Retreat Farm's dynamic convergence of culture, community, and planet,” shared President, Prent Smith. “As portfolio managers who take a holistic view of each investment we make for our clients, we are constantly seeking out successful organizations whose work embodies their principles and mission — Retreat Farm is such an organization."

Taking place without the traditional staging, lights, or backdrop of a theater-based performance, dancing vegetables, familiar animals, and even the seasons themselves come to life through dance in this joyful and entertaining show for all ages. 

Doors open at 4:30. Come early and visit animals on pasture, walk the Hope Garden labyrinth, explore the forest playground, and discover the historic interpretive path and creative play areas. Dosa Kitchen and Jamaican Jewelz will be serving up local food truck fare. Local crafts brews, wine, and cider will be available from Retreat Farm's Thirsty Goat pop-up bar or grab a fresh-squeezed lemonade or cold brew coffee from Cattail Coffee. Make sure to leave room for a Vermont-made maple creemee from the Farmhouse Creemee stand.

This year, the show is a fundraiser for Retreat Farm’s Community Food Project, which helps alleviate hunger in our region by growing and distributing fresh food. Ticket prices are available on a sliding scale so that this community event remains affordable to everyone. 

For more information, tickets, and other upcoming events visit www.retreatfarm.org

ABOUT RETREAT FARM

Retreat Farm is a natural and cultural public common where people connect to the land and one another. Located on Abenaki homelands, this 19th-century farm was established to provide food and therapy in nature for patients at the nearby Brattleboro Retreat. Today, our gardens and farmlands are growing food for our community.  Our pastures, waters, paths, and historic farmstead are open to everyone to enjoy for free. You can support this critical work by donating today at www.retreatfarm.org.