Sacramento Ballet’s Cinderella
Sacramento Ballet’s in-studio previews for “Cinderella” sold out, and these performances created a delightful show for children and adults. The in-studio performances were held at the Sacramento Ballet Studios on Thursday and Friday.
The preview shows gave guests an opportunity to see an up-close and personal view of the wonderful talent the Sacramento Ballet has to offer. This unique perspective allows viewers to appreciate the effort that goes into each movement.
On Thursday afternoon, artistic director Ron Cunningham welcomed ballet enthusiasts to the event held at their studio at 1631 K St. Cunningham introduced several of the dancers performing in “Cinderella.”
Richard Smith and Rex Wheeler are cast in the roles of Cinderella’s ugly stepsisters, giving them a comic role. Their dance moves brought laughter from the audience at various points. They were also dressed in costume for the performance, while most of the rest of the cast wore casual ballet outfits.
Cunningham noted that his version of “Cinderella,” originally created in 1976 for the Boston Ballet, has been seen by audiences around the world. A Chinese national TV station also televised the ballet to over 30 million viewers.
“Cinderella” is divided into three acts. Act 1 begins with Cinderella, played by Alexandra Cunningham, working hard performing unending chores. The ungraceful stepsisters try outfits for the royal ball, and later a dance master attempts to teach them dance moves and social graces.
As the stepsisters attempt to dance, a viewer cannot help but notice how much effort it takes to move and dance like someone who does not know how to dance. The stepsisters’ moves are made to look clumsy and funny, and their whimsical facial expressions are very comical and are sure to delight the audience at the Sacramento Community Center.
Act 2 takes place at the royal ball as guests await the arrival of the prince. The court jester, played by Christopher B. Nachtrab, entertains the royal guests. Dancers gracefully waltz around which again shows their classically trained adagio moves and balance. Their fluid movements hypnotize the audience.
When Cinderella arrives at the royal ball, guests are impressed by her natural grace and beauty. Once the prince, played by Stefan Calka, arrives and sees Cinderella, the two instantly fall in love.
Calka’s performance is physically demanding, and his moves are classic and elegant. During one of his solo dances, Calka’s glissade movements used the whole studio floor, as he danced to impress Cinderella, but the whole audience was impressed by his fluid dancing.
Cinderella continues to dance with her new love as time seems to have stood still. The beauty of ballet transcends on the ballet studio, making this fairytale come to life in front of the audience.
Soon the clock strikes midnight. As Cinderella races home, the second intermission arrives.
We all know the story of “Cinderella,” but the Sacramento Ballet brings music, dance and love to the studio and will do the same at the Community Center. Cunningham’s choreography is a joy to watch. This will be a love story for ballet enthusiasts of all ages.
“Cinderella” will play at the Sacramento Community Center Theater from Feb. 9 to 12, with two shows on Feb. 11.