Rinat Mouzafarov promises family fun for people who attend "A Winter Wonderland Christmas Recital" this week.
Mouzafarov's Institute of Dance and Ballet Theatre will present the show at 7 p.m. Saturday and at 2 p.m. Sunday at Minot High School-Central Campus. Tickets are $10 apiece and are available at the door as well as at Home Sweet Home, Esoterica, Jacobsen Music, Northwest Music and Video Magic-Broadway.
This is a repeat of a popular production that the ballet school did in 2008, but Mouzafarov said he has added some new numbers.
Ashton Cassim, Emma Cassim, Cole Anderson and MaKenna Sartwell perform “The Christmas Waltz.”
Students of all ability levels, from preschoolers in the pre-ballet class to advanced ballet students, will be performing dances to favorite American Christmas tunes such as "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," "Jingle Bells," "Santa Baby," "Winter Wonderland," "Let It Snow" and "Sleigh Ride." All of the dancers in his company are performing.
Mouzafarov said he's also included a dance to the Spanish-themed carol "Feliz Navidad" and dances to more religious songs such as "What Child is This?"
Kids will perform wearing a number of costumes. One dance features children dressed as Santa's elves; another features them dressed as cookies. Mouzafarov himself will perform dressed as Santa Claus.
Mouzafarov is happy because his year he has 16 male students, more than he has had in previous years. Having so many boys means that the girls have a chance to practice dancing with male partners. Mouzafarov also said the boys will perform a dance dressed as wooden soldiers, a la "The Nutcracker."
There will also be classical ballet dances such as a performance to "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy."
Dancers will also perform Mouzafarov's popular "Ski Fantasy," wearing new costumes. Mouzafarov said all of the costumes are picturesque and colorful and people should enjoy the young dancers' performances.
Although the dance company did "A Winter Wonderland" four years ago, Mouzafarov said the dances are new to a number of his young dancers. They are working hard to get their performances just right and have been enjoying getting into the Christmas spirit, he said.
Mouzafarov said he could not put on such an elaborate production without the help of his parent volunteers, such as Tonya Lewis, who organized costumes and set design; and Chad Hofer, who is acting as stage manager. Dance mothers for each group of young dancers help the young dancers make costume changes and make sure they are ready for rehearsal and to go on stage at just the right time.
Mouzafarov, who was classically trained at the Bolshoi Theatre in Russia, said working with young dancers has been his life's work. He tries to teach his students the value of hard work and good character as well as ballet technique and said he's proud of how their hard work at his studio carries over into other areas of their lives.
Mouzafarov said his dancers come from Bismarck, Rugby and Bottineau as well as from the Minot area, so he hopes to draw audiences from all over the state.