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“Cinderella” Opens Feb. 21 at The Granada

State Street Ballet’s popular touring production “Cinderella” has returned to Santa Barbara to conclude the company’s 2008-2009 season.

Performances at The Granada are scheduled for Feb. 21 at 8 p.m. 
and Feb. 22 at 2 p.m. Tickets are priced from $25, with discounts for children, students and seniors, and can be reserved by contacting The Granada’s box office at 805.899.2222.

The Cinderella ballet, completed by Sergei Prokofiev in 1945, is a variation of the original rags-to-riches story. State Street Ballet’s Cinderella features original choreography by Founder and Artistic Director Rodney Gustafson with additional choreography by Marina Fliagina, set design by Jean-Francios Revon, and costuming by Christina Giannini. It also includes local children in the cast, providing them with a firsthand theatrical experience as part of a world-renown company. “Cinderella is the perfect way to cap off this season because it appeals to all ages and is full of humor, charm and romance,” says Gustafson.

After its very successful premiere in Santa Barbara four years ago, the ballet was selected to tour the Eastern U.S. (from New Hampshire to Florida) and sold out every performance. Part of its appeal, says Gustafson, is the incredible melding of visual backdrops, movement and sound. Without giving away tradecraft, Gustafson shares that digital animation projected onto a see-through scrim is used to help a pumpkin transform into a carriage, while the lead dancer visible behind the scrim changes from her costume of rags to the princess dressed for a ball. “Even through it’s a classic tale, we have enhanced it with technology to be fresh and come alive for our audiences,” says Gustafson.

“We chose to close our 15th season with Cinderella because it appeals to audiences of all ages and levels of ballet-knowledge,” explains Gustafson. “This ballet is the perfect combination of a well-loved tale brought to life with unexpected twists and turns that will please our young audience members and classical dance that will satisfy ballet aficionados,” he adds.

State Street Ballet was founded in 1994 by Rodney and Allison Gustafson. With at least three productions each season in Santa Barbara, State Street Ballet has also toured throughout the United States, as well as internationally in Taiwan and China.

Rodney Gustafson was formerly with Geneva Ballet, Cleveland Ballet and American Ballet Theatre. He went on to receive his B.S. from University of Arizona, and his M.B.A from Antioch University.  State Street Ballet is known for its innovative choreography and unique style.

Barbara Burger represents the Santa Barbara Choral Society.


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