EMU music and dance students to perform Cinderella the ballet

All you need is a Fairy Godmother and the right shoes to become a Princess. This is what happened to the beautiful, yet poor servant, Cinderella from the classic tale, “Cinderella”. Everyone remembers the 1950’s version of “Cinderella” told by Walt Disney animation, but did you know her story was told in dance before the film? The ballet, Cinderella, was first composed by Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev in 1945.

As a part of their annual winter performance, the students of Eastern Michigan University’s Music and Dance Department will be performing Prokofiev’s Cinderella Friday at 7:30 p.m. in the Pease Auditorium. There will be two matinee performances at 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. for children and parents.

“It's a great opportunity for people to see EMU Music & Dance students come together to create a wonderful work of art,” said Abby Rudniki, Events and Outreach Coordinator at EMU Music and Dance Department. “It provides an opportunity to expose folks to a real artistic experience in the midst of this virtual age.”

The EMU Symphony Orchestra and Dance department began their collaboration together in 1999.

“It has been an incredible journey of learning and growing together to provide such an experience for the community,” said Rudnick.

This will be the third production of “Cinderella” by the EMU Dance program and Symphony Orchestra from the last sixteen years.

“This is not a complete reproduction. There are always new things and new ideas incorporated,” said choreographer of Cinderella and Professor of Dance at EMU, Sherry Wilkinson.

Alongside the ballet, the Director of Orchestra Activities at EMU, Kevin Miller, will be conducting the EMU Symphony Orchestra.

Wilkinson said that both she and Miller strongly believe in what they do and that the production has many layers beyond simple storytelling.

“It provides an overall rich experience that brings people back to the magic they can find in living art,” she said.

A cast of 23 student dancers will be bringing to life memorable characters such as Cinderella’s stepsisters, Fairy Godmother, and the Prince. However, this production will have a few new characters to introduce, as they will be retelling the story not told by Disney.

“Let's just say that the Fairy Godmother isn't the only fairy,” Wilkinson said.

In addition, at the end of the evening performance, there will be a piano concerto featuring EMU Professor of Keyboards, Anne Beth Gajda, who will be retiring this semester.

Cinderella the ballet is open to the public and is Learning Beyond the Classroom approved for EMU students.

“The story of Cinderella is a classic; whether you’re a 3-year-old or a fully mature adult, everyone can find some magic in this story,” said Rudniki.

Matinees are free of admission charge. A reservation is required by calling 734-487-2448.

For the general public, the evening show will be $10. More about ticket information is available by calling 734-487-2282, visiting 799 N. Hewitt Rd., Ypsilanti, or http://emutix.com.

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