Can a flat boy dance?

Well, the flat boy in question here is Stanley Lambchop, star of the “Flat Stanley” children’s book series that dates back to 1964. We know he can move, since he uses his flatness to mail himself to exotic locales around the globe.

But the question remains, can he dance?

Portland School of Ballet hopes to answer that question Saturday when its original ballet, “Around the World with Flat Stanley: The Case of the Red Shoes,” will be performed at the Westbrook Performing Arts Center.

“The story is about a ballerina losing her red shoes, and Flat Stanley travels around to pick up clues, and sees some fantastic dancing at the same time,” said Nell Shipman, resident choreographer with Portland Ballet and the Portland School of Ballet.

Flat Stanley is played by Adam Mosey, a senior in the Portland School of Ballet’s pre-professional program — so yes, he can dance. As can the people around the world Flat Stanley will visit during the production.

In creating the ballet, Shipman brought in choreographers with experience in dance of other countries and regions including Brazil, Africa and Ireland. The production will include 70 to 75 students.

Flat Stanley will dance, but he won’t technically be flat on stage. It will be up to the audience’s imagination to see his flatness, said Scott Nash, the Portland author and illustrator who has illustrated re-issues of the four original Flat Stanley books written by Jeff Brown.

When the Portland School of Ballet approached Nash about doing a Flat Stanley ballet as a production for it students, he suggested they create their own story. Because of Flat Stanley’s ability to mail himself anywhere, children often create their own Flat Stanley adventures, Nash said.

In fact, there is a phenomenon among Flat Stanley fans where they create Flat Stanleys, or pictures of themselves as a flat person, and give them to people taking trips so they can take pictures of Flat Stanley in various locales.

So Portland School of Ballet’s show, based on Flat Stanley traveling far and wide, makes sense.

“Stanley’s ability to fold himself into an envelope is really the reason he’s endured all these years,” said Nash.

And the reason he’ll be dancing on Saturday. 

Staff Writer Ray Routhier can be contacted at 791-6454 or at:

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