Popular Christmas ballet coming to Clanton

Published 2:03 pm Tuesday, December 6, 2022

By Elisabeth Altamirano-Smith |Community Columnist

C.J.’s Dance Factory of Prattville will present “Classical Variations,” set by Ballet Master Stevan Grebel and “The Grinch” Ballet, Dec. 10 at 2 p.m. at the Clanton Performing Arts Center.

Grebel was trained in the Vaganova technique by one of the front-running teachers of classical ballet, Alexander Pushkin at the Kirov Ballet in Russia, which centers on developing the elegant long lines, high extensions, musicality and strength.

“We are very blessed to have Grebel training students in this art form,” said Ballet Director Cynthia Martin. “Ballet is not a sport, it is an art. You have to study and train. It takes years of study. It is like a beautiful painting. You must learn the brush strokes and painting technique to complete the masterpiece.”

In addition to the half-year training for this seasonal performance, traditional tutus have been sewn for the dancers by a seamstress who has studied the art of making authentic, traditional tutus for dancers.

“The tutus have beautiful detail and pleats that are only visible in close proximity,” said Martin. “The opening ballet, ‘Classical Variations’ will be a traditional ballet and then will transition into ‘The Grinch’ which of course has fun costuming.”

Martin said she and the dancers look forward to performing at the Clanton Performing Arts Center because of the safe community, quality of the theater and the opportunity to dance.

“When the dancers put their tutus on, I tell them, ‘dance to the same level of quality that your tutu has been made,’” said Martin. “These kids are resilient and have come through COVID (quarantining). We are grateful for the opportunity of a wonderful, safe place to dance. Classical forms of art are disappearing today, and many artistic kids fall through the cracks because they aren’t given programming.”

In addition to the storyline of the Grinch stealing Christmas, the audience is given the opportunity to experience the real meaning of Christmas and “what Christmas is really all about.”

“This is a story for all ages,” said Martin. “We want everyone to be able to sit and enjoy the presentation.”

Tickets may be purchased at the door for $15 or online at shovation.com by searching for “CJ’s Dance Factory presents Winter Production 2022.”

Clanton Performing Arts Center is located at 1850 Lay Dam Road, Clanton, on the Jefferson State Community College Chilton-Clanton campus.