Columbia City Ballet Performs “Aladdin”


Photo by: Christina Xan

Columbia City Ballet performs “Aladdin” at FMU’s Performing Arts Center in downtown Florence. This is the first time that the company has performed the show in 13 years.

Columbia City Ballet premiered “Aladdin” on Saturday Jan. 23 for the first time in 13 years at FMU’s Performing Arts Center.

Director William Starrett said he was excited to see the performance come to life after such a long period of time.

During the performance, the company performed three acts of the ballet set in the Middle East. The first act began with Aladdin, played by Christopher Miro, and his friends dancing around the center of the market place.

While Aladdin and his friends were busy admiring the local gypsies, the Grand Vizier entered and demanded that all of the commoners bow down so that Jasmine, played by Regina Willoughby, could move to the baths privately. Unable to control his curiosity Aladdin looked up and was immediately taken away and beaten by the Grand Vizier.

As the night progressed, the scene switched to the desert where Aladdin was awakened during a violent sand storm. As the storm calmed down, Aladdin performed a solo dance of confusion and soon stumbled upon a lamp. As the story goes, a genie, played by Reinaldo Soto, is released from the lamp. Upon his release, he granted Aladdin three wishes. First, he wished for all the riches in the world so that he could win Jasmine over. Then, he wished for a way to meet with Jasmine.

The next scene opens with Jasmin’s maids performing solo pieces as they carry out their daily tasks before Jasmine makes her grand entrance dressed in a vibrant red outfit. As the scene fades, Jasmine’s father introduced her to the Grand Vizier. After exchanging pleasantries, the Sultan made known that he intended to give Jasmine to the Vizier in an arranged marriage. Shocked by her father’s decision Jasmine ran away and performed a tormented dance of inner turmoil.

As she came to terms with her her father’s wishes, Aladdin appeared as a mysterious prince on a magic carpet. As the two rode into the night sky, they performed a dance to represent their connection and love for each other. By the end of the performance, the two fell madly in love despite Jasmine’s commitment to Vizier.

After an intermission, the second act opened up with the Sultan angrily demanding that Jasmine marry the Vizier. After the Sultan’s decree, Jasmine raced off while everyone else prepared for the wedding through a lively and entertaining performance.

As the last scene began, the palace became busy as the wedding began. The audience watched as the dancers, dressed in white and gold costumes, performed a dance as they awaited the arrival of the princess. The young children brought gifts of flowers for the princess, and children followed the priest as he prepared to marry the two. As they are about to be wed, Aladdin swooped in on his magic carpet and offered his gifts of gold and riches as payment for Jasmine. After his entrance, the performance took a turn as Aladdin and Vizier participate in a sword fight ballet over the princess’s hand.

The last scene ended with Aladdin winning the fight and the Sultan agreeing to let the two remain together. After the Sultan blessed their marriage, Jasmine and Aladdin partook in an intricate ballet to express their happiness and love for one another.