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Gainesville Ballet Company to perform ‘Aladdin’ this weekend

POSTED: March 10, 2011 1:30 a.m.
TOM REED/The Times

The cast for the Gainesville Ballet Co.'s production of "Aladdin" will have close to 60 performers ranging in skill level from elementary school to professional level dancers. The performance will take place this weekend at Brenau University's Pearce Auditorium.

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Gainesville Ballet dancers are ready to invite audiences into a whole new world with their spring production of "Aladdin."

"This is the first time that we’ve done this show," said Diane Callahan, Gainesville Ballet Co. founding artistic director.

"It will follow the traditional ‘Aladdin’ storyline and will feature all of the familiar characters."

There will be performances Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Brenau University’s Pearce Auditorium, 500 Washington St., Gainesville.

Brelin Zimmerman, a Brenau University senior, and Sally Justus, a West Hall High School senior, will take turns as princess Jasmine during alternating performances.

"We have a double cast. There are about 60 performers in this show. They range in age from elementary school to professional level dancers," Callahan said.

"Our Aladdin, Victor Galuppo, is an apprentice with the Atlanta Ballet. The genie is Vincas Greene, the (chairman) of Brenau’s dance department. He dances in a lot of my productions."

In an interesting plot twist, the Gainesville Ballet has invited six non-dancers to join the upcoming production.

"They’re the fathers of a few of our dancers and are guarding Aladdin at certain times," Callahan said.

"We had a lot of fun incorporating them into the show. They get to be backstage with their daughters; it’s kind of fun. It’s an opportunity for them to see the other side of the performances."

The show was choreographed by Brenau alum and former Gainesville Ballet dancer Shelley Grames.

"Before the public shows, we’re doing a whole act of repertory works. There are seven of those. They’re about five to 10 minutes each and are all different.

"They’re Act I. Then there’s an intermission and then ‘Aladdin.’ It’s about an hour and a half total."



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