The Journal Gazette
Friday, February 21, 2020 1:00 am

Ballet's Youth Company goes on 'Jungle Book' adventure

COREY MCMAKEN | The Journal Gazette

Animal friends will join Mowgli as Fort Wayne Ballet's Youth Company presents two performances of “The Jungle Book” on Saturday morning.

The children's ballet is choreographed by Rena Bernardini and Lauren Ettensohn.

Bernardini, also a Fort Wayne Ballet dancer and instructor at the Ballet's Auer Academy, says she watched all the film versions of “The Jungle Book” and the performances are most similar to the Disney cartoon in which Mowgli goes adventuring in the jungle and runs across a tiger, Shere Khan. Mowgli's animal friends come to the rescue.

The performances have just fewer than 30 dancers ranging from ages 10 to 14, Bernardini says. In addition to ballet, there are jazz and other cultural influences in the show.

Each performance lasts about 30 minutes, after which families can meet the dancers and take part in arts and craft activities.

The company started working on the piece in January. It takes a lot to put together a full show, and the young dancers are learning teamwork and dedication, Bernardini says.

If you go

What: “The Jungle Book,” Fort Wayne Ballet's Youth Company

When: 10 and 11:30 a.m. Saturday

Where: Fort Wayne Ballet studios, Auer Center for Arts and Culture, 300 E. Main St.

Admission: $10; Arts United Box Office, 422-4226 or

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