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'The Snow Maiden' warming Akron in February, dedicated to Francia Albrecht


Snow Maiden group

Children and adult dancers are in the cast of The University of Akron Dance Institute's production of "The Snow Maiden," Feb. 7-8 at E.J. Thomas Performing Arts Hall. Among them, from left: Heidi Olivia Hollopeter, Farah Heestand, Rebekah Gray (the Snow Maiden), Kylie O'Sullivan, Margaret Mahaney, Olivia May and Clarissa Wagner-Opatrny. — Photo by Dale Dong.

Magical fairies, playful animals, an elegant Snow Queen and a charming little Snow Maiden are coming to life when The University of Akron Dance Institute presents “The Snow Maiden” at E.J. Thomas Performing Arts Hall in February.

Performances are  Saturday, Feb. 7, at 7 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 8, at 1 p.m. at Thomas Hall, 198 Hill St. Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for all children and students. They are available at the door as long as seats remain, and also in advance at 330-972-7570, the Thomas Hall Ticket Office, and

Snow Maiden poster

Appealing to all ages, the delightful ballet will feature more than 90 costumed performers and a haunting score by Tchaikovsky and Glazunov. The performances are dedicated to the late Francia Adelaide Albrecht, whose lifelong passion for classical ballet continues to support and inspire young dancers. 

Firestone High School senior Rebekah Gray is the Snow Maiden, and Walsh High School senior Alyssa Heller is the Snow Queen. Nina Hollopeter, a home-schooled senior who also attends the Cuyahoga Valley Career Center, will dance the role of Caterina, the Snow Maiden's mother. Guest artist Ethan Lee, a member of Neos Dance Theatre, will dance the role of Pavel, the Snow Maiden's father. Other guest artists include Dance Institute graduates and current UA dance majors Christine Howe and Erica Piper.

Founded in 1967, the Dance Institute at The University of Akron is a pre-professional, preparatory dance program for children ages 3 through 18. The UA Dance Institute also offers recreational classes for teens and adults. Among the supporters of the Dance Institute are Acme Fresh Market and the Albrecht Family Foundation.

Media contact: Cyndee Snider 330-972-5196 or