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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Fairy tale to enchant Centennial

    A whimsical fairy godmother, a dashing prince, a fancy ball and the unforgettable glass slipper — we all know the story of Cinderella, a classic fairy tale of forbidden love and lyrical beauty.

    But things are about to change when a new Cinderella comes to town.

    The Royal Winnipeg Ballet will take the stage of Centennial Hall in “”Val Caniparoli’s A Cinderella Story”” this Saturday night.

    Putting a new spin on the timeless fable, the troupe’s version does not take place in a land far, far away or during a time long ago. Instead, the ballet is set in the swinging ’50s, complete with big band jazz music and fun, lighthearted flair.

    The retro-inspired choreography of Caniparoli, a San Francisco-based dancer and choreographer who has also worked with such groups as Pacific Northwest Ballet, Boston Ballet and Israel Ballet, brings a new flavor and rhythm to the company’s traditional repertoire.

    “”(Caniparoli) has taken the tale of Cinderella and turned it into a Cinderella unlike anything you have seen before,”” said André Lewis, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s artistic director.

    While the show features steps and movements characteristic of a typical ballet, they are executed with a slightly different feel. Light feet and perfect posture give way to fluid hips and energetic partnering as the dancers burst onto the stage, swinging and jiving to tunes from a live jazz orchestra.

    Arranged by Ron Paley, the vivacious and jazzy renditions of Richard Rogers’ original musical score also capture the show’s 1950s vibe.

    Despite the modern twist, “”A Cinderella Story”” still follows the same footprints as the beloved fairy tale. Under the control of her malevolent stepmother and tormented by her malicious stepsisters, Cinderella must still rely on the helpful magic of her fairy godmother to unite her with Prince Charming.

    A few new faces are added to the mix, according to Lewis. He said that although there is no magical pumpkin that turns into an elegant carriage to take the heroine to the ball, a more retro-inspired vehicle will likely thrill audiences.

    “”It’s a great show, and it is quite clever how the plot unfolds,”” Lewis said. “”It appeals to all ages, and you don’t need to be of any age or appreciation of ballet to enjoy the show.””

    Will Cinderella capture the heart of her prince before the clock strikes midnight? You will have to go to the show to find out. And don’t be surprised if you find yourself bopping your head and tapping your feet.

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