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Boston Ballet offers sneak preview of Cinderella at BU

Roaring ’20s version of classic fairy tale

Boston Ballet dancers Heather Myers (left) and Kathleen Breen Combes as the stepsisters in James Kudelka's Cinderella. Photo by John Deane

This Cinderella isn’t just for kids. Choreographer James Kudelka’s version of the fairy tale, which will be performed at Boston’s Wang Center next month, is an innovative retelling of the classic story and is for people of all ages, according to reviews from across the globe.

The ballet’s run at the Wang Center, from October 13 to 23, will mark its U.S. premiere. The BU community, however, can enjoy a sneak preview of the Boston Ballet production on Wednesday, September 28, when the Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center presents Dance Spotlight, a behind-the-scenes look at the latest rendering of Cinderella.

Anthony Randazzo, ballet master at the Boston Ballet, along with company dancers, will perform selections from Cinderella at 6 p.m. in the GSU’s Metcalf Ballroom. The evening will also include a discussion period with dancers and Boston Ballet staff, as well as a guided tour of the extravagant Art-Deco costumes with Charles Heightchew, manager of costumes and wardrobe.

“This production brings Cinderella into a much more contemporary time period,” says Vita Paladino, managing director of the Gotlieb Center. “Everybody’s vision of Cinderella is the Disney version, but this one is set in the 1920s.” Disney’s animated adaptation of the story, released in 1950, is a classic in its own right, but Paladino says that in Kudelka’s depiction the characters are less cartoon-like and more complex.

“I’m thrilled that the company’s prima ballerina, Larissa Ponomarenko, who plays Cinderella, will be at our Dance Spotlight,” says Paladino. “I saw her in the Boston Ballet’s version of Swan Lake. She’s absolutely exciting to watch, and I understand that the choreography for Cinderella is quite fiery.” Ponomarenko, from the Ukraine, joined the Boston Ballet in 1993 and has played lead roles in most of the company’s repertoire.

Dance Spotlight is free to the University community. For more information, call 617-353-3696 or visit www.bu.edu/archives. The Boston Ballet is offering tickets to Cinderella at the Wang at the discounted rate of $20 for BU students. Faculty and staff may buy one ticket at regular price and get another free. Tickers are available at the Wang Center box office, 270 Tremont St., Boston.