On April 26th, State Street Ballet’s Cinderella put a spell on over 650 3rd graders of Clovis, New Mexico. This original and highly acclaimed production of Cinderella was choreographed by State Street Ballet’s Founder and Artistic Director Rodney Gustafson. From the hilarious ugly stepsisters, to the magic of the fairy godmother and the discovery of true love, this delightful performance warmed the hearts of this young audience. An entertaining production that has successfully toured across the United States, this classic story of the meaning of true beauty is told through spectacular choreography, Prokofiev’s luscious music, and the excitement of digital animation and opulent sets. Charles Donelan from the SB Independents says Cinderella, “highlights what’s most charming about classical ballet.”
Introducing the outreach activity was Clovis Municipal School’s Director of Music Education programs, Brandon Boreio. After a brief etiquette lesson on how best to watch the ballet, the company took the stage to perform Act I. Children all over the auditorium were mesmerized as Cinderella moved with elegance and grace and would giggle when the ugly stepsister tumbled around on stage. One of the ensemble dancers expressed how much she enjoys performing for a younger audience, “You can always trust that kids are going to give you honest feedback on your performance. It invigorates you when you hear them clapping or laughing at the funny parts.” Another one of the cast comments, “Some kids might think that ballet is boring or hard to understand, so it’s nice to expose them to an art form that they might have not be open to before.”
Every dance piece ended with a standing ovation from the kids in the crowd. A 3rd grader from Mesa Elementary said, “It was really amazing, but I wanted to see Act II!” Teachers from the elementary schools all appreciated that their students were being exposed to an art form that they might not be able to see otherwise. “This benefited my students because for many, this was the first time they had ever been exposed to professional ballet. Students were also forced to use their inferring skills since the performance was solely dance.”
The outreach activity concluded with a Q&A led by the company’s outreach director, Cecily Stewart, who had the rest of the company introduce themselves and what part of the world they were from. Students asked questions about certain scenes of the dances they saw or about the dancers themselves and their role in the ballet.
State Street Ballet is a vibrant, innovative professional ballet company based in Santa Barbara, California. Founded in 1994 by former American Ballet Theatre dancer Rodney Gustafson, the company combines the discipline and timeless elegance of classical ballet with updated, cutting-edge choreography, producing original works that satisfy today's diverse audiences. State Street Ballet tours both nationally and internationally, boasting a 90% rebooking rate, rave reviews, and standing ovations around the world. Along with their performances in the United States, they have performed in places such as Chile, Japan Brazil, Cuba, and Taiwan. An entertaining production that has successfully toured across the United States, “Cinderella” tells the story of the meaning of true beauty through spectacular choreography, Prokofiev’s luscious music, and the excitement of digital animation and opulent sets. Charles Donelan from the SB Independents says Cinderella, “highlights what’s most charming about classical ballet.”