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Devon Lodge, one of the Island’s own, takes center stage this weekend

By Mathea Morais
Martha’s Vineyard Patch
November 29, 2011

This year marks the 14th annual Martha’s Vineyard Nutcracker presented by Children In The Arts of Martha’s Vineyard featuring the Atlantic Coast Ballet and Martha’s Vineyard School of Ballet.

Beth Vages is the ballet company’s artistic director. This year is the 14th time she’s done the Nutcracker on the Island and the 26th time she’s done it in her life. To her, the ballet is special because, “It’s about children and it’s a holiday tradition no matter where you go…everybody knows the Nutcracker — even husbands that are football players, they know the Nutcracker. It brings families together, it is the start of the Christmas season.”

However, for Vages, this particular production is exceptionally special. You will still see the Nutcracker Prince’s triumphant battle with the Mouse King and experience the beauty of darting Snowflakes; the Arabian and Spanish dancers and the Sugar Plum Fairy. You will delight in the sight of Mother Ginger, and feel inspired as you watch Clara’s dreams come true. But when two amazing dancers take the stage this weekend at the MVRHS Performing Arts Center, many dreams will be coming true.

The two dancers are Kirsten Glaser, 21, who started with the Cape Cod School of Ballet when she was three years old and Devon Lodge, 18, who started here on the Island when he was eight. And Vages, who was there for both of these dancers’ beginnings, is thrilled to have them taking center stage.

Lodge, who is from Oak Bluffs, will play the role of the Snow King and Arabian. “I remember a young boy climb(ing) the stairs of our small former ballet school on Skiff Avenue in Vineyard Haven,” said Vages of Lodge. “He was around eight years old and had been dancing and wanted more classes. He began classical ballet training at Martha’s Vineyard School of Ballet. He was quiet, but there was something very special about this child. I knew the minute I laid eyes on him he was going to be a star.”

Throughout his childhood, Lodge performed in venues around the Island including the Nutcracker, playing the role of Fritz, and Built on Stilts. Lodge went on to Walnut Hill High School in Natick, MA on scholarship and majored in ballet. “He trained hard and everyone loved him. When I would visit his mom, Karen Lodge at LeRoux I would tell her, his name is going to be in lights. She laughed and I don’t think she believed me,” said Vages.

Lodge performed his own choreographed piece in the end of the year Walnut Hill performance to standing ovations. He was accepted to every major ballet company he auditioned for, including the Julliard School in New York City that picks only 12 dancers from all over the world. And Lodge now trains at Julliard.

According to Vages, “Everyone must see Devon perform while tickets are $15, because before you blink an eye, Devon will be dancing on the larger stages for a $100 a pop. You can then say I remember the young talented boy from Oak Bluffs who worked so hard and wore his heart on his shoulder while training to be a dancer.”

Copyright 2011 The Patch

Related Article :  Devon Lodge on Point for Walnut Hill School (Word Doc.)

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