By Kathy Collins

For the closing production of the 2015-2016 season, the Brandon Ballet will perform an original production of the magical tale, Aladdin. This production will take place Saturday, April 30 at 7:30 p.m. at the Spoto High School Theatre located at 8538 Eagle Palm Dr. in Riverview.

Octavio Martin, the artistic director for the Brandon Ballet, created this version. Martin said, “I chose Aladdin because it is such a well-known tale, and there are not many versions of the story being told through ballet.
Most people are familiar with the Walt Disney version. Aladdin was adapted from one of the tales in the book, One Thousand and One Nights (often referred to as Arabian Nights).” Martin added, “I am creating characters for our dancers such as the jewels (rubies, diamonds and emeralds will come to life) in the cave of wonders, and a snake charmer with his cobra (which is presented as a pas de deux). We are making over 50 handmade original props including a giant snake and a life sized elephant.”

The character of Aladdin will be played by Guest Dancer, Roberto Vega. Princess Jasmine will be played by Brandon Ballet’s own Myriam Frederick.

According to Martin, “This is a ballet the whole family can enjoy. It is a good opportunity to introduce a young generation to the art of dance and classical music. This is a performance you will not want to miss.” Attendees will be able to take photos with the life size elephant prop and some dancers after the performance.

The Brandon Ballet was founded in 1993. It is a non-profit regional ballet company that develops and promotes opportunities for aspiring young dancers. In the case of Aladdin, the Brandon Ballet is looking for student male actors as extras. Martin said, “We are in need of these extras to help play roles such as guards, the Sultan and slaves.” Martin added, “The more people in the community that are involved in the show, the better this production can be.”

Tickets for this production are $25 for adults, $15 for children 12 and under and $20 for seniors.

For more information on the Brandon Ballet, visit or call 684-4282. To purchase tickets to Aladdin, visit

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