BALTIMORE (WJZ)—An American classic is coming back to Baltimore. The ballet, “An Appalachian Spring,” has only ever been performed by professional dancers.

But as Christie Ileto explains, for the first time the iconic piece will be performed by a group of Baltimore high school students

The popular song, “Simple Gifts,” is part of an iconic American ballet called “Appalachian Spring” that’s coming back to Baltimore this month.

And students at the Baltimore School for the Arts are jumping at the chance to perform it.

“I was really excited because I’ve wanted to play it for a while now, and I didn’t think we would,” said Winston Harris, 10th grade musician.

“The fact that we get to do something that no other high school has done and something that Martha Graham has done is very touching,” said Jen Redil, 11th grade dancer.

Legendary dancer, Martha Graham, first performed the ballet in 1944. It celebrates American pioneers in the 19th century.

For the first time, she licensed the ballet to be performed by a high school.

“It means the Martha Graham Center for Contemporary Arts trusts us and that we’ve got a reputation for performing on a professional level,” said Chris Ford, director of Baltimore School for the Arts.

The last time the iconic American ballet piece was performed in Baltimore was in 1947 at The Lyric.

The music, dancing and stage production are all done by students.

“I like being able to work with all of the other departments and kind of collaborate for once because we don’t really do that very often and it’s great,” said Sebastian Stefanovic, 10th grade musician.

“It allows our school to come together and look at a piece of American art work and from a lot of different angles,” Ford said.

And ultimately perform a new version that celebrates great American art.

Performances start April 8, and run through the April 16. Click here for details.


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