Archived Story

Classical ballet students in Clanton prepare to perform

Published 3:28pm Friday, May 3, 2013

Some of the characters include a bluebird, grandma, butterflies, village children and the story would not be complete without the big, bad wolf that will be played by Graham Winton.

“It was not easy to find an adult who could play the wolf,” Curtis said. “Once I located Winton, he made a great person to play the part and has jumped in and is going to do a great job. He is not scary, he is just a tricky wolf in sheep’s clothing.”

Curtis said the wolf wears a mask constructed by Clanton artist Sue Anne Hoyt (who is Winton’s mom) and the children in the ballet were shown the mask prior to rehearsals so they wouldn’t be scared.

Clanton artist Sue Anne Hoyt constructed the wolf mask for The Little Red Riding Hood.
Clanton artist Sue Anne Hoyt constructed the wolf mask for The Little Red Riding Hood.

Hoyt and her husband, Art, have designed and constructed the set and will have children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren in the performance.

Hoyt will also play the role of “grandma” wearing a costume designed by Lena Rochester who made and designed many of the costumes for the ballet.

“[Rochester] took the tulle provided for her and made some truly beautiful tutus,” Curtis said.

Curtis also helped construct many of the small details for the costumes including headpieces that she designed by cutting up costume jewelry and gluing the miniscule, sparkly, pieces for each headpiece.

The butterflies will be played by 4 to 6-year-olds after Curtis focused on movement and expression with them throughout the year.

“I wanted them to be soft and flowing and the first time I saw them in costume they were so beautiful it made me want to cry,” Curtis said.

Although Curtis hopes the FBA will remain small so she can focus on training excellence and believes a smaller conservatory allows for more performance opportunities, she hopes more people will embrace the arts.

“There are so many things going on when you attend a ballet,” Curtis said. “You have the dancers, the symphony if you have live music, the costume mistress, the lighting and sound technicians and all the different things going on makes it more than just a ballet.”

Curtis is no stranger to the classical ballet world as she has been involved with ballet since age five. A native of Eugene, Ore., Curtis has more than 20 years of experience including 10 years as a professional dancer.

Now, her training and faith in God has prepared her to minister to Chilton County with the arts.

“God has opened so many doors for me and I have truly been blessed that this community has not only accepted my idea for a ballet school, but they have stepped up and supported the idea in so many different ways,” Curtis said. “I want to teach ballet from a Christ centered perspective and I want my students to be trained in the classical ballet form.”

Admission to the performance is free and Curtis said the production should last 30 minutes.

“If you are going to have a good program you need a good location and I am blessed to be able to have Christine Brown who was very instrumental with allowing us such a wonderful location with the Clanton Performing Arts Center,” Curtis said. There is always a place for talented people. It may not be where you think it is but they are there and I am blessed to have so many talented people helping me in this venture.”

For more information about the performance, contact Anna Curtis at (205) 294-2781.

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