Ballet Gives Wizard of Oz the Silent Treatment

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FORT SMITH — The Western Arkansas Ballet told the story of The Wizard of Oz its own way with performances this weekend (March 31 and April 1) at the Arkansas Best Corp. Performing Arts Center in the Fort Smith Convention Center.

Though The Wizard of Oz is so well-known that it could be told without words, the performers with Western Arkansas Ballet relied more than ever on their movements and facial expressions to tell the tale.

Choreographer Charles Martin specified several sections of pantomime for the dancers to use. For example, the Scarecrow character pointed to his head when he meant to say “brain,” the Lion flexed his muscles for “courage” and the Tin Man placed both hands to his heart while conveying the word “heart.”

Martin, currently in his fifth season as a dancer with the Kansas City Ballet, has been traveling back and forth from Kansas to work with local students on the production of Oz. Click here to read the full story from our partners at

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