Classic Ballet Academy students rehearse Holiday shows in new studios

Here’s a look at these dancers, many of them from outer East Portland, as they prepare for their upcoming performances of the Nutcracker, and other concerts coming up on December 14-17 …

These dancers finish dressing for a rehearsal of The Nutcracker at the new studios of Classical Ballet Academy.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

As might be expected, now that Sellwood’s “Classical Ballet Academy” has settled into their Creston-Kenilworth neighborhood studios, dance rehearsals have been intense in late November and early December – as instructors help students prepare for their Holiday Shows.

“We are preparing for four different sets of shows, all performed in mid-December, and all at the same time!” exclaimed CBA Director Sarah Rigles.

Classical Ballet Academy Director Sarah Rigles makes final adjustments to a dancer’s costume.

“One is The Nutcracker that we put on every year – but with changed casting, props, and sets to keep it fresh and exciting,” Rigles told East Portland News as dancers were changing into their costumes.

“We’re also putting on The Children’s Nutcracker with our youth students – and, as well, the Nutcracker Sweet Suite with our youngest dancers,” said Rigles. “In the same time period, we’re also putting on Winter Collections – an alternative program by dancers who are a part of our Contemporary, Modern, Jazz, and Hip Hop classes.”

In this scene from The Nutcracker, Playful Rat dancer Maya Geer poses with Snow Queen dancer Samantha Spurgeon, the Nutcracker played by Benjamin Lighthart-Faletra, and Snowflake Sophia Jane Ecord.

Just inside the Classical Ballet Academy entrance door with nutcracker props, here are many of the dancers who will appear in the upcoming productions of The Nutcracker.

About the new building, which she now owns, Rigles commented, “We’re really enjoying our new space! We have so much more room for, well, everything!”

New sign, new classes

Outside the building, their newly refurbished sign is ready to be lit, once the theater has been renovated.

Outside the building, the “Day Theater” sign has been fully renovated, complete with new neon and art deco artwork, now called the “Foster Theater”. “But we won’t be lighting it up until the theater has been completed in the fall of 2024,” Rigles remarked.

And, CBA no longer is just for ballet dancers, Rigles said. “We’re now offering Pilates and yoga classes, to provide offerings of interest to our neighbors.”

Discover what’s going on at Classical Ballet Academy, including mid-December performance schedule, by visiting their website: CLICK HERE.

© 2023 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™

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