A local dance theater’s production of a fairytale ballet is designed to appeal to audiences of all ages.
Judith Svalander Dance Theatre’s “Cinderella” will come to the Woodstock Opera House, 121 W. Van Buren St., for a two-day engagement Saturday and Sunday, June 10 and 11.
“This is a perfect production for those who love classical ballet as well as for those who might need more guidance as they watch,” said Judith Svalander, owner of Judith Svalander School of Ballet and artistic director of the Judith Svalander Dance Theatre, both located in Crystal Lake.
The production features students and guest dancers.
Guest artist Colin Ellis, a JSSB alum currently dancing with St. Louis Ballet, will return to the Opera House stage as a courtier and Cinderella’s father.
“It is so important to expose children to ballet. This show demonstrates that men can be as elegant and heroic as they are masculine and strong,” Ellis said. “The choreography is going to be great. I’m excited to be back for this.”
Svalander has added narration to the classic ballet.
“I am working with the Chicago Recording Company to have a vocal overlay of my own script that I think will set the scene more easily for a diverse audience,” she said.
Svalander has choreographed the entire ballet with the exception of the Fairy Godmother’s pas de deux with her cavalier, which is choreographed by JSSB faculty member and JSDT assistant director Julie Hirsch, as well as a portion of the fairy dance.
“What I am most proud of is that the level of our dancers is so much more accomplished that we have been able to include some work from Sir Frederick Ashton of London’s Royal Ballet and the Petitpas from the 1800’s original production of Cinderella,” Svalander said. “We have been able to introduce more challenging choreography at a much younger age than we had been able to before.”
Kobi Langanis, a 17-year-old junior at Cary-Grove High School, landed the role of Cinderella.
“It is every little girl’s dream,” Langanis said. “This is my chance to take the role and my dancing to the next level. I hope that little girls will be able to look up to me, and I hope that I represent ballet and the role of Cinderella well.”
Langanis’ prince and pas de deux partner, Joe LaChance, is a member of San Francisco’s Bay Pointe Ballet. “I’m excited to learn this pas with him. We only have a week to learn it, because he won’t arrive until then, but I trust his professionalism, and I know the choreography will be strong,” Langanis said.
“Our students have so much poise and grace – at such a young age. They dance right alongside the professional dancers. We are training them to be fearless and to trust,” Svalander said.
The role of the Fairy Godmother will be portrayed by Ryanne Anderson, who has studied at JSSB for eight years. “I think this is the role that suits me best. It is an elegant role and I think I dance those roles well. This ballet is a magical experience. I want the audience to see that this is a real life fairy tale – I want to inspire kids and to bring that sort of magic into their own lives.”
For tickets, call the box office at 815-338-5300 or visit woodstockoperahouse.com.