Classical ballet students in Clanton prepare to performBy Emily Reed Published 3:28pm Friday, May 3, 2013
One of the key factors in putting together a community production is having support from the community.
Clanton’s Festival Ballet Arts Classical Ballet Conservatory dance instructor Anna Curtis had the vision and desire to put together a professionally produced children’s ballet for Chilton County and on May 11, the FBA will perform the first classical story ballet, The Little Red Riding Hood at the Clanton Performing Arts Center at 7 p.m.
“Putting this production together has been a collective effort from a lot of different people in this community,” Curtis said. “I am incredibly thankful to have a community that is not only open and accepting of a classical ballet for children but excited.”
FBA officially started in August 2012 with 10 students taking ballet classes from Curtis who is in residency at Chilton County Taekwondo.
Now, FBA has 16 enrolled students who are dedicated to perfecting the art of classical ballet.
Curtis said Chilton County Taekwondo was an answer to prayer as she was in need of adequate space for her students who quickly committed to a standard of excellence upon enrollment.
“I want to see the kids that grow up and love an art form,” Curtis said. “My students understand they must maintain a commitment to attendance and commitment to excellence. They work hard but because they love what they are doing it doesn’t seem like a chore.”
The idea for Little Red Riding Hood came after Curtis wanted a story ballet that would be suitable for children ages 4-12.
“The Little Red Riding Hood is a story that has not been done much and it is cute and sweet and has a lot of parts for everyone,” Curtis said. “It is also a story within a story so each character has a distinct role.”
Curtis wanted the characters to be authentic, and many of the roles tap into their childlike nature.
“For my village children, I researched what village children might have done for fun which is why they will act out a game of tag on stage set to music,” Curtis said.