World Ballet Series presents ‘Cinderella’ at Irvine Barclay Theatre
The U.S. National Tour of World Ballet Series: “Cinderella” comes to the Irvine Barclay Theatre on Nov. 8 and 9. Gorskaya-Hartwick Productions is acting as a fairy godmother of sorts by bringing a Ballet for All Masterclass to Irvine as a part of the event.
“This is our way to share our love for ballet with everyone,” said Gulya Hartwick, co-founder of World Ballet Series and Gorskaya-Hartwick Productions.
Hartwick said there are more than a 150 performances of the World Ballet Series: “Cinderella” in over 140 cities across the U.S. each season, each self-presented. This beloved version of the classic fairy tale brings new excitement to the familiar story that everyone knows ends with “happily ever after.”
“The story itself is very old. There are over 1,500 versions and some of the retellings are very bizarre, and some are more familiar to the modern viewer,” said Hartwick. “We add a few twists and there are some unexpected characters in the production that always make audiences laugh, which is music to our ears.”
“Cinderella” is performed live by a multinational cast of 40 professional ballet dancers with choreography by Marina Kesler. The show is accompanied by a score from Sergei Prokofiev, and the sets are handmade, as are the nearly 150 costumes in the production.
“It is a magical production for so many reason,” said Hartwick.
But for all the magic, Hartwick said she realizes ballet may be intimidating for some audiences, and the World Ballet Series is dedicated to demystifying the art of ballet.
“Our task when we create new productions is to make it accessible using various techniques, such as dramatic effect to make it clear and fun and entertaining,” said Hartwick.
For many years, ballet was perceived as “very exclusive,” and Hartwick said she recalls feeling nervous attending a ballet production for the first time. She said Gorskaya-Hartwick Productions is interested in doing away with those stereotypes.
“We are truly growing those new audiences, and we hear so many good things from our audience members about how they thought ballet was something totally not for them, but we proved them wrong.”
The Ballet for All Masterclass is one way Hartwick said the company is working to make ballet fun and accessible.
“What we use, not only us but the whole new classical ballet, are certain gestures that offer you cues to what is happening and what is about to happen,” said Hartwick. “There is a secret language of ballet and we have included that in the Masterclass.”
Hartwick said registrants will decode the meanings behind the gestures and what they signify.
“You can tell from your body or hands ‘the queen is coming’ or ‘I love you’ or ‘I don’t love you’ or ‘I promise to marry you,’ Hartwick said. “There are so many thing you can tell.”
Besides learning the language of ballet, participants of the 45-minute masterclass will have the opportunity to meet World Ballet Series cast members and try their hand, or feet, at the challenge of the first position. Hartwick also said the class is as much fun for the instructor as it is for the attendees.
“The only challenge, for us, is deciding between the cast who is going to lead this particular Masterclass because they all want to go,” said Hartwick. “They are loving it.”
The Ballet for All Masterclass will take place on Nov. 9 at 3 p.m. and is free for registrants. No previous ballet experience is required, and the class location will be sent via email once registration is confirmed. Aspiring dancers can register at worldballetseries.com/masterclass.
“We all need a little bit of ballet in our life, one way or another,” said Hartwick.
All the latest on Orange County from Orange County.
Get our free TimesOC newsletter.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Daily Pilot.