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The Vermont Center for Dance Education will present “The Snow Queen” Sunday in Rutland. Pictured, from left, are Kristina Hilliard, Emily Dupont, Hannah Gustafson, Valentine Giesey, Anna Carroll, Abigail Severy and Judith Dardeck. The cape in the photo was made with the fabric that inspired the show.

A cast of over 60 local dancers and a nationally touring group of teenage musicians are performing this week.


“How do I create a dance?” Stefania Nardi says, “You’re telling a story (without) words, so you start with what’s going to convey the message.”

Nardi is director of the Vermont Center for Dance Education. She chose “The Snow Queen” for this year’s performance, Sunday at Rutland’s Paramount Theatre, after she found “a cut of white organza embroidered in silver” while shopping for fabric.

The costumes enhance the production, and they’re specially made for the lead characters in the school’s recently built costume shop. The performance includes a cast of over 60 local dancers including Hannah Gustafson in the title role, Anna Carroll as Gerda and Abigail Severy as Kai. VCDE alumna Kristina Hilliard will make a guest appearance, along with Emily Dupont, from the Nutmeg Ballet Conservatory.

In choreographing the performances, Nardi said, “The audience doesn’t rely just on reading the booklet to understand what’s going on. They can understand from what’s happening on stage.

“The music is the inspiration,” she added, “but what’s the story behind that dance? You choreograph (to) convey the message through the body language.”

Vermont Center for Dance Education will present “The Snow Queen” at 1 and 6 p.m. Sunday, June 9, at the Paramount Theatre, Center Street in Rutland. Tickets are $15-$25; call 802-775-0903, or go online to For information, call 802-342-2039, or go online to


The Wesley Bell Ringers from Salt Lake City is one of the top youth hand bell choirs in the United States. In its 54th annual summer concert tour, the group will perform at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 13, at St. Bridget Catholic Church at 28 Church St. in West Rutland.

Formed in 1963 when nine enthusiastic teenagers sold sandwiches for six months to make enough money to buy 25 hand bells, it became the first hand bell choir in Utah. Fast forward 50 years and almost 500 high school students have participated in the choir, which expanded to 10 octaves of bells and two octaves each of hand chimes, cup bells and silver melody bells, among others.

The group is currently directed by Katie Lay, a Utah native and former member of The Wesley Bell Ringers. She also works for an online high school that specializes in music lessons for high school credit.

The Wesley Bell Ringers have performed at Mount Rushmore, Disney World, The Cathedral of the Pines National Memorial, the 2002 Winter Olympics and the United States Capitol, and next week, St. Bridget Catholic Church in West Rutland.

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