The Hilton Head Dance Theatre will soon be dancing to a different tune.
The company will perform its first full-length ballet accompanied by a live orchestra March 25-26 at the Visual and Performing Arts Center at Hilton Head Island High School.
The Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra is collaborating with the dance group to present the jovial ballet "Coppelia." Orchestra music director and conductor Mary Woodmansee Green said very few ballet companies in the United States use live music for their performances.
"For a town the size of Hilton Head Island, it's really quite phenomenal," she said. Green said the dance company has performed short programs with the orchestra but never an entire ballet such as this one.
The two groups will get together for only two rehearsals and aside from that will practice on their own time.
Hilton Head Dance founders John Carlyle and Karena Brock-Carlyle have gone over the score and choreography of "Coppelia" with Green and are confident the performance will be a success.
"Mary (Green) is very sensitive to what we need," John said. "So we think it will be a great collaboration."
Green said the orchestra musicians are looking forward to branching out and working in a completely different genre. She said they have played excerpts from "Coppelia," but it's a whole different experience to play the entire ballet.
"Since I've gotten here, we've been just wishing that we could do something together ... with the dance theatre," Green said.
The Carlyles are happy to help turn that dream into a reality. And performing "Coppelia" during the group's 25th year has even more significance to the couple. It was the first full-length ballet they performed as the Hilton Head Dance Theatre in 1986.
"This is such a big, important thing for us to add in the orchestra," John said. "For us, this is like showing how far we have come and where we are going."