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'Aladdin' is a ballet for the whole family
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Ballet West launched its Family Series last year with an original ballet version of "The Little Mermaid."

This year the series continues with "Aladdin," adapted from the original One Thousand and One Arabian Nights.

Choreographers Pamela Robinson-Harris and Peggy Dolkas promise plenty of twists and turns away from the well-known Disney animated film.

The Family Series should appeal to younger audiences with earlier start times, shorter performances and a plotline specifically for children.

Dancers from the Pre-Professional Trainee program, Ballet West II, and students from the Ballet West Academy make up the combined cast of more than 30 performers.

"This is a chance to showcase these dancers and give them stage experience," said Robinson-Harris, the company's ballet mistress. "And equally important, it is a chance to integrate ballet and family programming."

Dolkas said to expect action, sword fights, humor and dazzling costumes. "David has really outdone himself this year," she said, referring to Ballet West costume production director David Heuvel. "I think he really has fun coming up with designs for the animal costumes — and there are lots of exotic animals in this production."

Robinson-Harris said the University of Utah theater department's Actor Training Program shared students Samantha Orr and Jorden Saxton for the production. They will introduce each scene and "let the action unfold through dance." —

Ballet West's Family series features 'Aladdin'

When • Saturday, April 6, 2 p.m.; Monday, April 8, and Tuesday, April 9, 7 p.m.

Where • Capitol Theatre, 50 W. 200 South, Salt Lake City

Tickets • $15, $25 and $35; available through artttix.org or 801-355-ARTS.

Ballet • Performances showcase up-and-coming dancers.
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