Written by David Schivers
Kiwanis Club of Dougherty County members welcomed characters from “Alice in Wonderland” to their weekly luncheon meeting on November 21.
Cast members in costume from the upcoming Ballet Theatre South production of Lewis Carroll’s classic story were present as BTS president Zan Twiggs spoke to the club about that cultural organization and its mission.
Ballet Theatre South, formerly known as Albany Ballet Theatre, is a nonprofit organization “that brings the beauty of dance to Southwest Georgia.” According to Ballet Theatre South’s literature, and reinforced by Ms. Twiggs’ remarks, “Company members receive the opportunity to learn classical ballet techniques from a variety of master teachers and choreographers. These experiences culminate in a professional-scale production where the dancers showcase their accomplishments.”
Ballet Theatre South consists of three companies: youth, ages 8-10; junior, 11-14; and senior, 15 to college age. It depends on community support to sustain its $45,000 annual budget.
In addition to public events, BTS also puts on exhibition performances in local schools. According to Twiggs, “The school shows are a favorite with the dancers” because it gives them a chance to interact with the students.
The companies perform the dance classic “The Nutcracker” every other year, said Twiggs, but in recent years have also done “Peter Pan” (2007) and “Coppelio” (2009).
“The productions tell a story and the students have an opportunity to act and dance,” said Twiggs.
The curtain will rise on “Alice in Wonderland” at 7:30 p.m. Friday, December 2, at downtown Albany’s Municipal Auditorium. Subsequent performances will be Saturday, December 3, and Sunday, December 4, both at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 for the Friday performance and $15 for Saturday and Sunday; they can be purchased by calling 349-3343 or at the auditorium starting 30 minutes prior to the show.
The Albany Ballet Theatre was originated by Maude Evelyn Murphy in 1980 to promote the art of dance and provide area dancers the chance to perform with professional teachers and choreographers. The name was changed to Ballet Theatre South in 2003, but it continues to bring to life Mrs. Murphy’s dream.
Slated to perform as major characters in the Ballet Theatre South production of “Alice in Wonderland” are, from left, Mattie Leach, Emma Twiggs, Sara Ashley Butler, and Lydia Twiggs.