Southern Ballet Theatre brings 'Aladdin' to stage

Special Photo. Cast members of Southern Ballet Theatre's "Aladdin and his Magic Lamp" will perform today through Sunday at the Gwinnett Performing Arts Center."

Special Photo. Cast members of Southern Ballet Theatre's "Aladdin and his Magic Lamp" will perform today through Sunday at the Gwinnett Performing Arts Center."

All sorts of magic will be created onstage as Southern Ballet Theatre presents “Aladdin and His Magic Lamp” today through Sunday at the Gwinnett Performing Arts Center.

This original presentation will present the enduring tale of Aladdin and his adventures, complete with flying carpets and “elephants.”

Performances will be held on at 7:30 p.m. today; at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday; and at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $16.50 for adults and $14.50 for students and seniors. At the door these prices go to $18.50 for adults and $16.50 for students and seniors.

More than 40 members of the Southern Ballet Theatre Company will perform in “Aladdin.” There are beautiful sets and costumes and surprising special effects. In addition to the company members, the cast will also feature approximately 40 young dancers from the Lawrenceville School of Ballet and Arts Academy performing as little monkeys and little carpets.

“We will infuse the splendor of ballet with lots of energy, excitement, and of course, a stunning visual display of scenery, video and flight,” SBT spokesperson Brandon Chitwood said. “It is a performance that every member of the family can enjoy.” Chitwood is the SBT President and Artistic Director.

Chitwood is also involved onstage as Aladdin himself. His wife, Alicia, will be performing the role of the Genie, and Bethany Smith is the Princess. Bethany is a senior at Grayson High School.

The costumes are very special as well. Kelly Rayborn, who will be portraying a diamond, says, “My costume is gorgeous. All the costumes are so awesome. Most of them were designed by the Southeast Alabama Dance Company.” Kelly is a sophomore at Peachtree Ridge High School.

In addition to the public performances, SBT will perform a special production of “Aladdin” for selected Gwinnett County elementary school students. This annual field trip exposes young people to the performing arts and is a part of SBT’s community outreach program.

The children get to see more than a show, however. “They get to interact with the dancers, see the costumes, hear how we do some of the special effects, who works on the show, like the lighting crew and sound crew,” SBT representative Tracy Kaluba said.

SBT is also gearing up for an important event at the end of April. SBT along with several other Atlanta- based pre-professional companies will be participating in the Southeastern Regional Ballet Association’s annual festival. This year the festival will take place in Montgomery, Ala.

Most recently, SBT has taken enthusiastic audiences under the sea with an innovative staging of “The Little Mermaid” and shared the magic of dreams coming true in “Cinderella,” to sold-out audiences. SBT has performed the full length ballets “Sleeping Beauty,” “Giselle,” “Romeo and Juliet” and “Coppelia.” In addition to its annual fall repertory performances, the company has also staged original versions of “A Very Grinchy Christmas,” “Wizard of Oz” and “Alice in Wonderland.”

For more information about SBT and “Aladdin,” visit www.southernballettheatre.com.

Tickets for “Aladdin” can be purchased through any Ticketmaster location or at the Gwinnett center Box Office.

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