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Ice cream to melt into ballet performance of ‘The Rite of Spring’

'The Rite of Spring' is scheduled to open March 22 at Ohio Theatre.

“Smooth” can describe both the transition of movements in a ballet performance or the texture of a bowl of ice cream. These unlikely partners are both connected to a new performance.

This weekend, BalletMet Columbus and the Columbus Symphony Orchestra are set to come together for “The Rite of Spring,” in honor of the 100th anniversary of the show’s opening in Paris. The show is scheduled to open 8 p.m. Friday at the Ohio Theatre

This is a milestone production for the two groups.

“This is the first time ever that BalletMet and the Columbus Symphony are going to do an absolute joint production,” said Cheri Mitchell, BalletMet’s executive director. “We are going to share equally in the expenses of the production and share the ticket revenue.”

Mitchell said audiences will be blown away by the performance of “The Rite of Spring,” which was originally written by Igor Stravinsky in 1913.

“It has some of the most powerful music and dances,” she said. “You’re going to hear the power of the music, and with the lighting and everything, it takes your breath away.” 

In honor of the production, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams put together a flavor inspired by the themes in “The Rite of Spring.” Absinthe + Meringues is an unlikely match that has been creating a lot of buzz in local Jeni’s scoop shops, according to Aaron Beck, a spokesman for Jeni’s.

Ben Merrill, a fourth-year in environmental science, is an employee at Jeni’s. Merrill said the choices behind the flavor’s ingredients had a deeper meaning. 

“The meringues represent the upper class of the early 20th century, and when you scoop the ice cream, it breaks up the meringues which represents how this new age ballet breaks up the oppressiveness of the higher classes,” he said. 

Mitchell agreed that the theme is reflected in the ice cream. 

“You’ll get a real sense of how society and different sectors can have conflict,” she said. 

BalletMet members said they are very excited about the Jeni’s flavor and have really enjoyed the taste, Mitchell said. 

Beck said the flavor has been very popular since its introduction. 

“A lot of people have been coming into our shops and sampling it. Unlike some of the other flavors we release, a lot of people have not only been trying it but have been buying pints of it,” Beck said. 

The limited edition flavor was released in February and will be available through the end of March. 

“Absinthe is a tricky thing that’s only been legal in the U.S. since 2007, so it’s got that kind of mystique about it,” Beck said. “It’s got a really strong licorice flavor, the ice cream itself is really refreshing.”

Absinthe + Meringues will be sold at the concession stands in the Ohio Theatre during “The Rite of Spring” performances along with Jeni’s grapefruit frozen yogurt. 

“The Rite of Spring” is scheduled to run at the Ohio Theatre at 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 3 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster from $25 to $65.

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