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Palomar performs ‘Princess and the Pea’

Palomar Contemporary Dance Ensemble will be performing at the Howard Brubeck Theater to music conducted by the Palomar Symphony Orchestra, directed by Dr. Ellen Weller and Dr. Molly Faulkner.

The repertoire includes a symphony set to music by Eric Coates, performed in five selections to ballet music of Alexander Borodin, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and Igor Stravinsky.

The audience will be introduced to an imaginative program that has blended fabled childhood stories into one fairy tale dance performance. The main characters in each fable meets another character from another fairy tale land.

The dance selection will begin with Polovtsian dances and open with selections from Swan Lake Suite. The following selections will leave you guessing what will become of your childhood fable when they are magically transformed into another world nothing like their own.

Dr. Molly Faulkner, Palomar Contemporary Dance Ensemble director and choreographer has edited the plot to create a wonderland. “A pea does the tango,” said Faulkner.

Princess and The Pea will precede intermission as the finale. “I did this ballet about 10 years ago for the Burklyn Ballet Theatre and I re-staged it,” said Faulkner.

The program is performed to enchant the audience of all ages, especially the children. The finale will open the stage to the children in the audience.

“It’s a darling ballet, it’s very kid friendly, children will have the opportunity to dance on stage,” said Faulkner.

While in rehearsal, the dancers were surprised by a visit from the children at Palomar’s Child development center. The children has the opportunity to learn about ballet, meet the ensemble and were greeted by each dancer.

The style of dance performed is a ballet with versions of Polovtsian, classical, modern style and a twist of tango. The costumes designed by Jane Craig-Jones and Chelsea Marsh are made suited in this fairy tale. “Costumes are spectacular, Jane Craig-Jones and Chelsea Marsh designed and built the show,” said Faulkner.

The Palomar Symphony Orchestra has 40 members comprised of college students, community members and professional musicians with the youngest, a 14-year-old.

The conductor of the symphony will be Dr. Ellen Weller. “Dr. Weller and I have been working on this collaborative project for over a year now,” said Faulkner.

Weller is an associate professor of World Music at Palomar College for 12 years and has been the conductor for Palomar Symphony Orchestra for six years.

“Molly Faulkner inspired me, we feed off each other, we dream together,” said Weller.

The music selected for the program is “Four Centuries Suite by Eric Coates. The music is set to stories by Hans Christian Andersen.

“We wanted to conduct an orchestra that incorporates a ballet, the nature of what we do is collaborative, ballet is a visualization of what is happening artistically, you’re hearing the music and they are dancing the story,” said Weller.

The Palomar Symphony Orchestra will blend all ranged of sound to behold the audiences attention. “I want everyone to get caught up in that world of magic,” said Weller.

The performances are set for 7 p.m. Dec. 17 and 2 p.m. on Dec. 18. There will be a pre-concert lobby chat for 45 minutes prior to the concert program. Tickets will be $10 for students, $12 for seniors, $15 for general admission and can be purchased online at



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