Ballet preview: Matchgirl

  • Photo by Wes Kroninger
From the December 13, 2012 edition

This is the 14th year the Columbus Dance Theatre has presented its ballet “Matchgirl.” The fact that artistic director and choreographer Tim Veach hasn’t gotten sick of the production yet isn’t so much a Christmas miracle, he said, as it is a testament to the power of the story, characters and dance.

That being said, Veach is leaping with excitement about a new addition to this year’s performance.

“Matchgirl” is a spiritual story based on “The Little Match-Seller,” a Hans Christian Andersen’s fairytale about a dying street girl and her desire to meet her parents in heaven. The Columbus Dance Theatre professional dancers and the company’s student dancers perform the ballet.

One of Veach’s student dancers is the daughter of Ricky Gonzalez, the creative director at Limited Brands. Gonzalez designed new set pieces for the show, including decadent chandeliers and panels designed with icons from the story (e.g., a snowflake, a turkey and the Matchgirl herself) that create a border around the stage’s façade.

“It’s just going to be lovely,” Veach said, adding that “what’s really great is the cast that are dancing have done this show for a very long time. They’re bringing so much depth to the work. It’s really quite rich that way.”