Art Beat: Southern Ballet Theatre to offer holiday fare

Special Photo<br>Southern Ballet Theatre Dana Egan stars as the Sugar Plum Fairy in "The Land of Sweets and New Contemporary Works."

Special Photo
Southern Ballet Theatre Dana Egan stars as the Sugar Plum Fairy in "The Land of Sweets and New Contemporary Works."

Southern Ballet Theatre will be the first area arts group to officially provide audiences with holiday fare when it present "The Land of Sweets and New Contemporary Works" at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 7. The performances will take place at the Gwinnett Performing Arts Center.

"We are delighted to present a special holiday show just as excitement is building for the season," SBT Assistant Director Jeanne Deitrich said. "We'll be taking audiences on a journey through the swirling snow and the Land of Sweets where the Sugar Plum Fairy reigns over her own colorful characters from many lands."

This performance will be the first for SBT's new Artistic Director Brandon Chitwood, who took over the reins in August when the new season began. The performance will also showcase the shorter, innovative pieces SBT has always presented with success.

Eight new works of modern, ballet, contemporary, jazz and hip-hop will be included in addition to the "Land of Sweets."

* "Through the Motions" is choreographed by Camille McDade and is a contemporary Christian piece about living life with passion instead of just going through the motions.

* "Trompe-l'oeil" -- This is a total creation of Brandon Chitwood. He not only choreographed the steps, but he composed the music as well. The piece will take the audience on a journey back to the late 19th century through the mind of a mad scientist as he creates something extraordinary. When his experiment goes horribly wrong, he must fight to regain control over what he has created.

* "Hurt" -- This is a contemporary piece by Alicia Wetzel Chitwood to music by Christina Aguilera. The choreography takes the viewer through a relationship that began as "the relationship you dreamed about," but ends as "the experience you want to forget."

* "Seasons of Life" -- This is a lyrical jazz piece set on the pre-professional company members by New Company choreographer Courtney Ondre. This dance lets the audience experience the seasons of life from childhood to maturity, innocence to awareness, weakness to strength, anger to forgiveness and grief to acceptance.

* "Twinings" -- Jeanne Deitrich choreographed this modern piece to music by Lebanese composer Rabih Abou-Khalil. It is a journey into mysticism and transcendence to a higher level of awareness and power.

* "Catharsis" -- This contemporary piece performed on pointe was choreographed by emerging choreographer Sarah D'Urso. Set to a modern cello quartet by Apocalyptica, the piece showcases the dancers' controlled athleticism.

* "Esperanza" -- This contemporary piece by Shelby Price, a student at Brookwood High School, will be performed by members of SBT's professional division.

* "Want You Back" -- This piece is a high-impact jazz dance choreographed by Courtney Ondre to the Pussycat Dolls, featuring the youthful energy of the Junior Company dancers.

Tickets for the performances are $12 for adults and $10 for students and seniors, and can be purchased through Ticketmaster or by calling 770-963-2685. Adult tickets at the door are $15. For more information, call the number above.

Holley Calmes is a freelance writer and public relations consultant specializing in the arts. E-mail her at hcalmes@mindspring.com.