Rehearsals are going so well for our new production, it's hard to believe the company just came back from a long post-Nutcracker lay-off. The dancers are in amazing shape! Both my Cinderellas, Phyllis Affrunti and Racheal Nole are fabulous --- they are very different dancers. One of the great things about having a number of principal dancers is the ability to see the differences in artistic focus. Both these ladies are working on a very high plane of inspiration -- this is one of the best gifts we can offer our audiences here in the Treasure Valley, the ability to see really first class dancers at the top of their form.
While Racheal is sweet and tender, lyrical in her pas de deuxs, sparkling and joyful in her solos, Phyllis is dramatic and vulnerable, finely shading her pas de deux moments and bringing great pathos to the Act 3 "mad scene."
Thinking back on all the great leading dancers I worked with on Cinderella in New York at American Ballet Theatre, I can only say that my two ballerinas here in Boise can match them step for step!
Meanwhile, all the other dancers are rising to the occasion, especially the surprising and delightful work of Steven Bain and Michael Dunsmore, playing the two Step-Sisters. They have the company convulsed with laughter at every rehearsal! They are truly hilarious and, after a bit of hesitation at first (few male dancers' hearts soar when they see themselves cast as "Step-Sisters...) they decided to plunge into their roles with gusto. The roles of Step-Sisters are a real challenge both in comic timing and dramatic musicality --- not to mention learning to walk in heels!
Both Steven and Michael are doing fantastic work and I think our audiences, especially kids, will roar with laughter at their antics.
Our dancers look beautiful in the Ballroom scene waltzing the night away, they carry fantasy to new heights in the Four Seasons section of Act 1 and offer strong dramatic portrayals of the myriad characters who pursue the Prince in Act 3. Our company men this year are really growing artistically and technically and they have quite a lot of spectacular dancing to do in all 3 Acts.
Please join us at the Morrison Center on Saturday, February 6. This ballet is a hilarious and romantic fairytale, a special treat for audiences of all ages --- you won't want to miss it!
Also, don't forget about Overture Notes, my conversational look behind the scenes that happens one hour before curtain time --- that's 1pm and 7pm and Saturday in the theatre. I have a lot of great stories about Cinderella, especially the time Mikhail Baryshnikov and I came REALLY CLOSE to performing the Step-Sisters ourselves!!
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