Scene & Heard by Heidi Kurpiela

Scene & Heard 12.02.10

Posted December 1, 2010 at 9:00 am

by Heidi Kurpiela

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+ Dancer lands Clara in ‘Nutcracker’ — again
Oh, to be 12 years old and dancing the part of Clara in “The Nutcracker.”

Performing in the fairy-tale Christmas ballet is a rite of passage for most young dancers.

If you’re lucky enough to nab the part of Clara, it’s a dream come true. If you’re Mattison Bedinghaus, it’s old hat.

Bedinghaus, a seventh-grader at King Middle School, first played Clara in the Dance Theatre of Bradenton’s “Nutcracker” in 2008, when she was only 10 years old. This year, she was selected to perform the part again with one change — she would perform it en pointe.

Bedinghaus, the daughter of Lakewood Ranch eye doctor Dr. Troy Bedinghaus, will perform alongside her two brothers and younger sister, all of whom were cast as Clara’s siblings in the show.

“It’s a dream to play her again,” Bedinghaus says. “The Christmas spirit is all around. It’s like I just want to stay in ‘The Nutcracker’ forever.”

Bedinghaus plans to audition in February for American Ballet Theatre’s summer intensive program. She says she has her eyes set on dancing in New York City one day.

The Dance Theatre of Bradenton will perform “The Nutcracker” at 1 and 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 11, at Neel Performing Arts Center at State College of Florida.

 + 'Tis the season for Fuzión
Is it just us, or are the Fuzión Dance Artists collaborating with every artist in Sarasota lately?

Company founder Leymis Bolaños Wilmott has been busy since she gave birth to her son, Charlie, almost a year ago.

The company recently paired up with the kids from Jazz Juvenocracy to create “The Miles Project,” a contemporary dance tribute to Miles Davis, scheduled for Jan. 14 and Jan. 15, at the Glenridge Performing Arts Center.

Now s/ART/q artist Sabrina Small is jumping on the modern dance bandwagon.

On Dec. 11, Small will host a fundraiser at her North Sarasota home and studio to raise funds for a Fuzión dance performance inspired by two pieces from her Siamese twin series (“Black Orpheus” and “Goldie Lox”).

Scheduled to premiere in Sarasota at the end of March 2011, the work will include costumes and a set designed by Small and New York-based costume designer Jen King-Elliot.

+ Happy birthday to Art Off Clark
Sarasota's second-hand art retailer, located at 5831 Derek Avenue, celebrates its first birthday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4 with bargain prices and an art therapy presentation by Ringling College of Art and Design instructor Poppy Terris from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

All artwork will be priced at 25% off. There will be drawing for a $25 gift certificate and refreshments will be served.

Terris, a registered art therapist and a liberal arts psychology professor at Ringling College, uses the psychology of art to enrich the lives of students and seniors throughout Sarasota and Manatee County.
Her most recent project, "Bridging the Gap," paired Ringling students with elders at the Senior Friendship Center in an effort to examine views on aging and ageism through the act of collaborative sculpture.

Sculptor moves his junk into Selby Library

Those of you who slack off on recycling must check out artist Richard J. Hinger’s Lehighton Letters solo exhibition, currently on display at the Selby Library.

Hinger, a North Port resident and self-taught sculptor, founded the non-profit public arts program Environmental Sculpture Inc., which he’s used to produce public art using found materials in cities throughout California and South Florida.

The artist’s latest library-friendly exhibition promotes reading through his typical strange assemblage of recycled materials.

For more on Hinger, visit

+ Hot tickets
Rosemary Rising: This hugely popular family-friendly event should be at the top of your December to-do list. Let the twinkling lights of the Rosemary District put you in the holiday spirit. The event is free and features live music, unique vendors, BBQ cooking and demos by the West Coast Civic Ballet and Empire Ballroom Studios. The district’s newest merchant, Casablanca Hookah Lounge, will play host to belly dancers and Moroccan fare. Festivities run from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 2 along Central Avenue. For more information, visit or

‘Mame’: If you’ve seen “Bonnie & Clyde” and you’re itching for another Depression-era musical, hit The Players Theatre this weekend for “Mame.” The show, which opened on Broadway in 1966 starring Angela Lansbury, is about an eccentric bohemian socialite whose charmed life comes to a halt when her nephew comes to live with her. The musical runs Dec. 2 to Dec. 19. For tickets, call 365-2494 or visit

Sarasota Ballet’s ‘The Nutcracker’: With only two performances scheduled for just one day, tickets to Sarasota Ballet’s “Nutcracker” will go fast. Company dancers, together with 80 children from The Sarasota Ballet school and Dance –– The Next Generation, will perform Robert de Warren’s holiday spectacle at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 11 at the Sarasota Opera House. Tickets start at $20 and are half-priced for children under 12. For more information, call 359-0099, ext. 101 or visit



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