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"The Seal Maiden" 

Forget "The Little Mermaid" with Present Tense

Dances with seals

This weekend, Present Tense Dance and Drumcliffe Irish Arts team up to present The Seal Maiden and Dancing Home through the Heart of Yeats. Based upon an old Celtic myth that reminds us to be careful what we wish for, The Seal Maiden introduces us to Solanna, a spirited young seal. As the result of disobeying her mother, she finds herself washed ashore near a fishing village, trapped in a human body.

Although Katie Schwartz-Resenau movingly conveys Solanna's remorse and stoic acceptance of her new life, it's not all doom and gloom. Solanna sings beautifully, and like the kid on the school bus who'll eat anything for a buck, she achieves a measure of popularity among the village children by enthusiastically consuming wriggly worms and the like.

Eventually, Solanna marries and has a son who is as fascinated by the sea as she once was by land. Their internal conflicts are resolved in a rousing finale spanning both ecosystems and generations.

After intermission, experience a world of dance inspired by the poems of William Butler Yeats. That should make up for a little unbridled TV viewing over the summer.

The production is intended for children ages 4 and up and features a blend of traditional Irish and contemporary dance directed by Edward J. Murphy and Anne Harris Wilcox, as well as lilting narration, creative staging, fanciful costumes and live music. Show runs approximately 90 minutes.

Performances Saturday, October 14, at 7 p.m. and Sunday, October 15, at 2 and 7 p.m. at the School of the Arts, 45 Prince Street. Advance tickets are $12, $10 ages 12 and under, available at Parkleigh, Irish & Celtic Imports, Irish Imports, and Marianne's Consignments. Tickets at the door $12-$16. Call 461-8389.

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