The West Hartford-based ballet theater company’s “Aladdin” production will be performed live on stage at the Bushnell in April.
Ballet Theater Company (BTC), located in West Hartford, CT, will present its new production of “Aladdin” at the Bushnell’s Belding Theater from April 23, 2022, at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., as well as a third performance on April 24 at 2 p.m.
Aladdin is choreographed by Stephanie Dattellas (“Cinderella”, “Nutcracker”). The choreography for the production began in 2019, with its scheduled premiere in 2020, but due to the pandemic, it has been postponed until now.
Dattellas’ process for the screenplay was created through his research on “Arabian Nights”, a collection of Middle Eastern and South Asian folk tales that were originally published together during the age of Islamic gold. The stories, from historical tales to tragic romances to comedies, have been collected over many centuries by a wide range of scholars and authors.
Instead of presenting an interpretive or non-emerging ballet of these cultural manifestations, Dattellas has invited the collaboration of two choreographers who represent the communities represented in the script of the production.
Partners include Rachna Ramya Agrawal, who will perform as Aladdin‘s mother in production. Rachna co-choreographed scenes to incorporate Kathak, one of the eight classical Indian dance forms. Rachna explained how “this is the first time an Indian dancer has been invited to collaborate with a classical dance company in the state of Connecticut”.
Julie Lai from Asian Performing Arts choreographed a traditional Chinese dance performed at the end of the show.
The musical score is composed by Carl Davis CBE (“Cyrano”) and performed by the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra.
Connecticut resident and Ballet Theater Company artist Jo-ann Burke will direct the production in the lead role. The entire cast will include eight professional ballet dancers as part of the Ballet Theater Company’s resident company, performing lead roles such as The Princess, The Maghrib and Diamond Lead.
Diversity in the casting of lead roles is standard practice for the Ballet Theater Company. Two guest artists from the American Repertory Ballet will perform the principal roles of Aladdin and the Djinn, plus an artist from New York as the Emerald Male Lead. The cast will also include 53 students from the School of Ballet Theater Company.
Chief Designer and Chief Costume Designer Pat Numberger and her team created 184 new pieces for the show.
Tickets for The Ballet Theater Company’s Aladdin at the Maxwell M. and Ruth R. Belding Theater can be purchased through The Bushnell’s website.
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