Celebrating its 16th anniversary this year, the Ahwatukee Foothills Ballet presents its yearly holiday performance with a cast of 125 local dancers, their ages ranging from 3 to 21. The production employs more than 400 costumes and headpieces, each personally designed for the show. Equal in elaborateness to the dancing is the staging, which includes a Christmas tree that rises through the theater’s roof, falling snow and angels dancing on clouds.
As toes twinkle onstage, visitors can bask in the renovated scenery of Symphony Hall, which couples hand-blown glass chandeliers with a quartet of designer tapestries. One of the largest machine-made draperies known to man, the theater’s colorful Grand Drape symbolizes the renewal of generations, creativity, and library books discovered during fossil digs.
Although their ballet company has the word "youth" in its name, Georgi and Tara Rusafov are all about the classics. Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, and Les Sylphides have all been performed by their dancers, thus introducing the iconic music and choreography to a new generation. The performers are as young as 6, and each one receives pre-professional training that can help them pursue a career on stage and in tights.