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Ballethnic prepares for next big production
by Nneka Okona
January 22, 2013 10:51 AM | 1228 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / Katherine Frye <br>
Brandy Carwile, back, Co-Founding Director of Ballethnic, Nena Gilreath, middle, and Christina Mims, front, stretch before dancing Friday morning at Ballethnic Dance Company.
Staff / Katherine Frye
Brandy Carwile, back, Co-Founding Director of Ballethnic, Nena Gilreath, middle, and Christina Mims, front, stretch before dancing Friday morning at Ballethnic Dance Company.
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The holiday season, one that was chock full of Ballethnic Dance Company’s annual Christmas production, “The Urban Nutcracker” may be behind them, but their upcoming production, “The Leopard Tale” is right around the corner.

Nena Gilreath, co-director of the dance company located in East Point, said the past few months have been hectic, but they are going full steam ahead with preparations for their spring production.

“We’ve been really busy, busy the past few months,” she said. “‘The Urban Nutcracker” happened at the Ferst Center and it was a really big success. We had better audiences than we have had in a long time.”

A total of five shows of “The Urban Nutcracker” were put on throughout the month of December, three of which were purely school shows for students.

The City of Atlanta’s Cultural Experience Project brought it upon themselves to buy out the school shows — which yielded 3,000 third graders at the Ferst Center for the school shows.

“We got really good feedback from the students and got really great pictures,” Gilreath said. “That kicked off our performance season really well.”

As the company looks toward their “Leopard Tales” production, one that has not been performed in its entirety since 2008, there is much to take into consideration.

Auditions have already been held for the production, a production that will harness a minimum of 70 cast members.

“Sometimes it will go up to 80,” Gilreath said. “[In “Leopard Tales”] there are drummers, singers, at least 50 children, professional singers and the seniors from The Bowden Center.”

Rehearsals, which will begin this week up until the show’s premiere March 21, are intense, as they should be for a production that is a fusion of African, modern and classical ballet technique as well as elaborate costumes and makeup.

“We will have rehearsals on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from this week until March,” Gilreath said. “The week before we rehearse from Sunday to Sunday.”

But she said she is ready and excited.

“We are pushing through,” she said.

“The Leopard Tale” will run from March 21 to 24 at the Rialto Center for the Arts.

Ballethnic Dance Company, Inc. is at 2587 Cheney St. in East Point.

Information: www.ballethnic.org.

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