Choreographed by Mississippi Metropolitan Ballet Artistic Director Jennifer Beasley, Cinderella returns to the stage at Jackson Academy on Saturday and Sunday March 27 and 28. Performances are at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday and 2p.m. on Sunday. Featuring over 80 local dancers and a host of guest artists, the production brings the classic fairy tale to life.
Beasley originally choreographed her version of Cinderella in 1999 for ballet’s production at the Madison Cultural Center. Through the years, the company has grown as has the ballet itself, with additional roles and dances added to accommodate the greater number of dancers involved. “All the magic and romance and the triumph of good over evil remain at the core of the ballet,” says Beasley.
“Although this is the sixth time we have produced Cinderella, the ballet remains fresh. Our principal guest artists bring their own interpretation and artistry to the leading roles. The Stepmother and Stepsisters bring their humorous brand of evil, and the love between the beautiful Cinderella and her handsome Prince triumph in the end.”
Emily Carrico and Sergio Masero-Olarte, both dancers with Atlanta Ballet, will perform the roles of Cinderella and the Prince. They most recently appeared with Mississippi Metropolitan Ballet in the company’s 2020 production of The Nutcracker.
Masero-Olarte has previously appeared as a principal guest artist with Mississippi Metropolitan Ballet in the world premiere of Frozen Heart and in the 2017 production of Cinderella. Appearing as the Dance Master is Oscar Fernandez of Ballet Memphis.
Mississippi Metropolitan Ballet. Artistic associate Crystal Skelton and former assistant artistic director Erik Kegler will reprise the roles of Stepmother and Stepsister, which they first performed in 2006.
Joining the family as the other stepsister is Dexter Bishop. Bishop trained with Mississippi Metropolitan Ballet through high school. He graduated from Oklahoma City University and is a former principal dancer with Missouri Ballet Theatre. Rounding out the list of guest artists will be George Sanders. As a company member, Bishop danced in Mississippi Metropolitan Ballet’s first production of Cinderella in 1999. He has frequently appeared as a guest artist with Mississippi Metropolitan Ballet and has been an audience favorite as Russian in The Nutcracker.
He has danced principal and soloist roles with companies such as Ballet Memphis and Carolina Ballet among others.
Soloist and senior company members of Mississippi Metropolitan Ballet will hold major roles in the production. These local dancers include Madeline Page, Southern Callahan, Mari Finseth, Grace Gardner, Emily Garnder, Sophia Huang, Caroline Koski, Annalee LeDuff, Hart Maley, Emma Raush, Sydney Sanders and Rebecca Trowbridge of Madison County. Rankin County dancers include Brelyn Binkley, Anna Claire Nelson, Annalyse Binkely, Eleanora Ellis, and Hallie Young.
Mississippi Metropolitan Ballet is a non-profit, pre-professional ballet company located in Madison. Company members are selected via audition from the students of the Mississippi Metropolitan Dance Academy, Tickets for the socially-distanced performances are $30-$35 and are available at www.msmetroballet.com.