Brighton Ballet Theater adapts ‘Cinderella’ ballet for young dancers

Brighton Ballet Theater adapts ‘Cinderella’ ballet for young dancers
Photo by Steve Solomonson

These kids can dance!

A group of a talented young dancers performed “Cinderella” at Kingsborough Community College on June 6. The leader of the ballet company who put on the performance said that they chose different music than is traditionally used for the classic so that the kids could better assume the roles.

“We felt the original ‘Cinderella’ music is not very exciting for young children, so we created an hour-long ballet with music the kids could relate to,” said Brighton Ballet Theater founder and director Irina Roizin.

The Brighton Beach company has a history of adapting famous ballets for younger performers and audiences, and in the past has done “The Nutcracker” and “The Ugly Duckling.” It also works with borough public schools to introduce kids to ballet at a young age,

Dancers often perform “Cinderella” to the music of Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev, however, the Brighton Ballet Theater’s choreographer Edouard Kouchnarev felt that the music of Italian opera composer Giuseppe Verdi had beats and melodies that children can better groove to, according to Roizin.

“Music may be beautiful, but it’s not always easy for the kids to hear the beat,” she said. “Not many composers write classical ballet now, so we had to work with the old.”

The ballet was unique in that it starred children, since “Cinderella” is often performed by professional adults. Some adults performed, too, and Kouchnarev played the king, for example. Some of the students at Brighton Ballet Theater receive scholarships to study there, according to Roizin.

The director said that seeing Cinderella and the prince dance together at the end of the production was the highlight of the evening, because the moves had a message of forgiveness.

“It touched my heart to see the kids dance together,” said Roizin. “Everyone forgives each other at the end of the ballet. That’s the main thing we wanted to show.”

Reach reporter Adam Lucente at alucente@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow him on Twitter @Adam_Lucente.