The timeless fairytale of a lowly stepsister who becomes the apple of a prince's eye will come to life in Delaware Ballet's production of "Cinderella" at Delaware State University on Saturday.
Delaware Ballet's rendition of "Cinderella" presents the same narrative as the Walt Disney cartoon film, but with more elegance.
"We're an art form," said Artistic Director Dan Kaiser, 50, of Dover. "When people look at a ballerina on stage, they're making lines."
It's taken rigorous training and great dedication for the dancers to able to gracefully demonstrate those lines come opening night. The cast of "Cinderella" is between the ages of 9 and 18, and they've been training and rehearsing for the show since January. Specifically, the dancers have been training at least five days a week for an average of two hours, which involves practicing their technique in Delaware Ballet's tap and jazz classes, as well as exercising, said Kaiser, a former soloist for the Pennsylvania Ballet. They've devoted weekends to rehearsals and sessions have lasted an average of six hours.
"When these girls leave [practice], they're either moaning or groaning or looking at me like they want to kill me," Kaiser said lovingly. "You have to not only have [the] strength and ability [to dance], but you also have to have a graceful look on stage. That's the hard part: balancing 'I'm strong like a bull but I'm beautiful.' That's a really tough thing to do."
Kaiser says the cast members, many of whom he's worked with at the academy for years, understands his tough love is designed to bring out their fullest potential. As a result, he glowingly added their hard work on stage has translated into many of the dancers' academic performance since an estimated "99 percent of our students are honor roll students."
IF YOU GO
WHAT Delaware Ballet presents 'Cinderella'
WHEN 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday
WHERE Delaware State University' Education and Humanities Theater, 1200 N. Dupont Highway, Dover
COST $10 for seniors and students; $15 for adults
INFO delawareballet.net or call 674-3030