Kermit Poling composes upcoming Snow White Ballet

Gabrielle Collins, a junior in West Hartford, will be starring as Snow White in the ballet. Courtesy of the Hartt School
Gabrielle Collins, a junior in West Hartford, will be starring as Snow White in the ballet. Courtesy of the Hartt School


Over the summer, Hartt Community Division will be performing the ballet Snow White on June 14 in the Millard Auditorium.

Snow White will feature 154 dancers ranging from ages five years old to 17 years old from the Hartt Community Division Pre-Professional, Foundation and Children’s Ballet programs along with original music composed by Kermit Poling.

Poling has been the Music Director of the Shreveport Metropolitan Ballet and the South Arkansas Symphony for 27 years and has toured the U.S. as musician and a conductor.

Named one of the top 10 people to watch by Forum Magazine, Poling is also an international conductor and has performed in Italy, Mexico and China.

In 2000, Poling was rewarded for his achievements with the Outstanding Artist in Music Fellowship and in 2012 he received a Career Advancement Award from Louisiana.

Recently, Poling has composed music for the Phantom of the Opera, Aladdin, Tarzan, and Snow White, which originally premiered in 2003.

Poling will be traveling to Hartt to conduct a live orchestra himself.

Samantha Duster, who is the Artistic Director and Chair of the Dance Department at the Hartt Community Division since 2011, is choreographing the fairy tale.

Previously, Duster taught at the Orlando Ballet School and received her training from the National Ballet of Cuba, where she earned her teaching diploma.

Before choreographing Snow White, Duster was asked to produce a world premier of Camelot in 2004.

The three soloists are Kathryn Manger, from Conn., Gabrielle Collins, 16, who play the role of Snow White, and Eddy Tovar, a Cuban native, who plays the prince.

Mananger dances with the Hartt School Community Division located in Hartford. In the semi-finals of the Youth America Grand Prix in 2012, she was in the top 12. Manger has participated in plays such as The Nutcracker, Don Quixote and Sleeping Beauty Suite.

Gabrielle Collins, who is a student of the Hartt Community Division, started training at age six.

In 2012, she won the bronze medal in the Connecticut Classic Ballet Compeition. The following year, she won the silver medal.

Tovar, who was born in Cuba, trained at a ballet school in Havanna. He is a current faculty member in the Hartt Community Division. He has performed ballet galas internationally including countries such as Japan, Canada, Argentina and Latvia. He also performed in the show, “So You Think You Can Dance.” The first performance is Friday June 14 at 7 p.m., followed by one on Saturday June 15 also at 7 p.m. with a matinee on Sunday June 16 at 2 p.m.

Tickets are available for purchase on April 20 through the University Box Office and $20 for students, $30 for adults and $15 for children 12 and under.