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NF Ballet’s “Cinderella” – That Glass Slipper Still Works
By Bruce Collier
March 17, 2011 Issue


Spring, the season of light, fresh ideas, and romance. A perfect time to enjoy the much adored and triumphant ever-after tale, Cinderella, presented by the Northwest Florida Ballet at the Mattie Kelly Fine and Performing Arts Center April 2 and 3.

Artistic director Todd Eric Allen joins a long line of distinguished choreographers who have brought versions of Sir Frederick Ashton’s staging and choreography to audiences since 1948.
The timeless three-act ballet features a favorite story line, top-notch performers and a sumptuous score by Sergei Prokofiev. The charm of this production will surely convert any forty winker into a fan.

Signs of the rags to riches fable were first recorded in ninth century China with a golden fish as the heroine’s friend and helper. Not until 1634 did it make an appearance in its westernized form. The fairy godmother, pumpkin carriage and glass slipper were later added by French writer Charles Perrault. It is this account around which the ballet is shaped rather than the well-known Grimm Brothers translation where the stepsisters become blind for their cruelty.

The lovely and articulate Orlando Ballet principal Katia Garza plays Cinderella with international guest artist Israel Rodriquez as her handsome prince. Seen as the gentle mother replacement is the fairy godmother played this year by NFB soloist Lauren Hamilton. Audience favorites are the pratfalls of choreographer Allen and Preston Dyar as the Panto-dame stepsisters, along with internationally recognized guest artist David Goud as the waggish jester.

NFB company dancers play roles of the Fairies of the Season and the oodles of children are from the ranks of the highly acclaimed NFB Ballet Academie.

The message of the ageless tale is how hope, honest virtue and true love save the day. Following Ashton’s path, Allen’s production combines lyrical classicism, stylized and slapstick pantomime to a heavenly Prokofiev score. Don’t let the clock strike midnight without you--this is a not to be missed event.

Performances are Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2:30. Tickets are $25 for adults and $12.50 for children under 12. Visit www.nfballet.org or call (850) 664-7787.


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