FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 20, 2013
Contact: Meghan McNamara
Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre Presents Cinderella with Live
Orchestra April 19-21 at the Benedum Center in 12-13 Season Finale
(Pittsburgh, PA) – Brimming with enchantment, romance and comedy, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre presents the classic story of Cinderella onstage with the PBT Orchestra April 19-21 at the Benedum Center, in PBT’s 2012-2013 Season finale.
Set to Prokofiev’s grand score and the choreography of Washington Ballet’s Septime Webre, Cinderella stages a spellbinding spectacle with elaborate costumes, classical choreography and distinctive set design. Reimagined across cultures, ages and art forms, Webre’s adaptation of Cinderella roots the timeless fairy tale in honest human emotions of love and longing to match the depth of Prokofiev’s score.
In addition to PBT company dancers, approximately 20 children from Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School will dance the roles of enchanted garden creatures, including bumblebees, snow angels, butterflies and other whimsical roles brought to life by Cinderella’s fairy godmother. From the enchanted pointe shoes to the show-stopping stepsisters, PBT’s Cinderella takes many unexpected twists on this time-honored tale.
Character Transformations: Cinderella….& Her Stepsisters
Following a garden visitation from her fairy godmother — accompanied by fairies of the four seasons— Cinderella transforms from rags to finery to make her mysterious debut at the ball. Behind the scenes, however, the most dramatic transformation occurs for the male dancers cast as Cinderella’s stepsisters. Webre’s Cinderella plays on the theater and ballet tradition of dancing “en travesti,” using a comic gender role reversal to characterize the jealous duo with clownish antics. Costumed in voluminous hoopskirts and garish makeup and wigs, these male dancers add a generous dash of humor to the production.
The Perfect Pointe Shoe
Rather than the typical glass slippers, PBT’s Cinderella dons a pair of dazzling pointe shoes for the ball, leaving her Prince to search all over the world for the maiden who matches her forgotten slipper. In the reality of a professional ballerina, finding the perfect pointe shoe fit is a Cinderella story unto itself. Choosing pointe shoes is an extremely individualized and detailed task to find the fit that offers ultimate foot flexibility, balance and support. At PBT, most ballerinas dance through an average of 75 pairs of pointe shoes each season, and spend countless hours darning, breaking in and padding their shoes for the best fit and comfort level. Most pointe shoes are hand-made, and PBT dancers may choose up to 10 style customizations when ordering. So, whether it’s the Spanish or Tunisian dancer that the Prince visits in Act II, it’s truly unlikely that Cinderella’s pointe shoes would ever fit another ballerina.
Set & Costume Design
Theoretically set in “a faraway kingdom,” the set of Cinderella draws influences from the mid-to-late 18th century prior to the French Revolution. The fairy tale is brought to life through James Kronzer’s set designs, which include Cinderella’s kitchen, a garden full of dancing creatures and flowers, a wintery forest, and a gilded grand ballroom lined with mirrors that multiply the swirling skirts and partnering of the courtesans. At midnight, Kronzer creates a striking vision on stage when clock faces of various sizes fill the ballroom, alerting Cinderella that her gown will soon return to rags. Judanna Lynn’s costume designs showcase the elaborate court dress and powdered wigs of the era as well as Cinderella's ragamuffin dresses and the stepsisters’ humorous frocks.
Considered one of ballet’s most brilliant scores, Prokofiev’s Cinderella score premiered in 1945 with the Bolshoi Ballet, and echoes Cinderella’s inner emotions as well as a variety of unique themes for different characters. Of his approach to the score, Prokofiev wrote of his attempt to "convey the poetic love between Cinderella and the Prince – the birth and flowing of feeling, the obstacles thrown in its path, the realization of the dream...to create a fairy tale to serve merely as a setting for the portrayal of flesh-and-blood human beings with human passions and failings."
Tickets for Cinderella start at $25.75 and are available for purchase online at www.pbt.org, by calling412-456-6666 or visiting the Box Office at Theater Square in the Cultural District.
About the Choreographer
Septime Webre was appointed artistic director of The Washington Ballet in June 1999 after six years as artistic director of American Repertory Ballet in New Jersey. Much in demand as a choreographer, he has created works that appear in the repertoires of many companies in North America, including Pacific Northwest Ballet, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, North Carolina Dance Theatre, Ballet Austin, Atlanta Ballet, Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet and Colorado Ballet, among many others. As a dancer, Mr. Webre was featured in works by George Balanchine, Paul Taylor, Antony Tudor, Alvin Ailey, and Merce Cunningham, as well as in principal and solo roles from the classical repertoire. A former member of the board of directors of Dance/USA, Mr. Webre sits on the board of the Cultural Alliance of Greater Washington, and has been honored by Young Audiences of the District of Columbia and has received a number of fellowships for his choreography. Mr. Webre is the seventh son in a large Cuban-American family, and he graduated from the University of Texas with a B.A. in History/Pre-Law.
Media Note: For interview or photo requests, please contact Meghan McNamara, marketing coordinator, at412-454-9117 or firstname.lastname@example.org.