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ART BEAT: Gwinnett Ballet Theatre unveils new production of ‘Cinderella’

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Abigrace Diprima will perform the title role in Gwinnett Ballet Theatre’s “Cinderella” on March 29 and 30 at the Gwinnett Performing Arts Center. (Special Photo)

Gwinnett Ballet Theatre will present a beautiful new production of the ballet “Cinderella” on Saturday and Sunday, March 29 and 30 at the Gwinnett Performing Arts Center.

The beloved fairy tale is enjoying a restaging in both choreography and costuming. Sumptuous new tutus, ball gowns and other attire will be worn by GBT’s dancers. The choreography by Artistic Director Wade Walthall will provide a family-friendly event of the highest artistic quality.

Performances will be held at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 29, and at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, March 30. Tickets are available from $11 to $20 and can be purchased through www.gwinnettcenter.com or by calling 1-888-929-7849.

Cinderella will be performed to the music of Ottorino Respighi, an Italian composer famous for his melodic orchestral works of the early 20th century.

“This production of ‘Cinderella’ was restaged for Gwinnett Ballet Theatre in 2012,” Walthall said. “The current production is updated with new costumes and a fresh new look.”

Costumes are being created by Barbara Mock, who has been producing stunning designs for Atlanta performing artists for more than 35 years.

“It is so much fun to work on a fairy tale ballet,” she said. “I am having a ball making ball gowns! There is glitter in my house everywhere. I am going to be sparkling for a month.”

Mock has been hand dyeing fabrics to produce a magical palette of fairy tale pastels.

“We are using brocades, antique lace, old jewelry and hundreds of yards of tulle,” Mock said. “I am also using over 3,000 crystals to be hand sewn on the costumes.”

Cinderella also lends itself to a very exciting tie-in with neighboring Medieval Times. The public is invited to a special event at 12:30 p.m. Sunday, March 30 at the Gwinnett Performing Arts Center. A knight from Medieval Times in “shining armor” on a Friesian steed will bring the glass slipper to the steps of the theater. Patrons are welcome to come early and enjoy greeting this knight and seeing the glass slipper delivered to the “Queen of Duluth.” There’s just enough time for lunch at one of the nearby restaurants, and then a return to the theater at 2:30 for the final show.

And although visitors at the 12:30 p.m. Sunday event will be able to see a real knight and his steed up close, and experience the delivery of the glass slipper, they will need a ticket to the 2:30 performance to see if the slipper fits.

Dancing the lead role as Cinderella and Prince Charming will be GBT dancer Abigrace Diprima and Ricardo Runa of the National Ballet Conservatory of Portugal. Abigrace was recently named a finalist to participate in the New York City Finals for Youth American Grand Prix.

For more information about “Cinderella,” Gwinnett Ballet Theatre or classes or summer intensives, visit www.gwinnettballet.org or call 770-237-0046.

Holley Calmes is a freelance writer and public relations consultant specializing in the arts. Email her at hcalmes@mindspring.com.