BWW Review: CINDERELLA PIROUETTES INTO Ferguson Hall At Straz Center

BWW Review: CINDERELLA PIROUETTES INTO Ferguson Hall At Straz Center

The award-winning dancers of Next Generation Ballet (NGB), a pre-professional auditioned dance company will join the ballet dancers from Patel Ballet Conservatory to bring to stage the beloved tale of Cinderella.

Under the direction of NGB Artistic Director and Patel Conservatory Dance Chair Philip Neal, on May 5-6 in the Straz Center for the Performing Art's Ferguson Hall, the large-scale revival of this production will include nearly all of the Patel Conservatory ballet students and the 43 NGB trainees.

Fifteen-year-old NGB dancer Zoe Gallagher will play her first lead role in the production, a step-sister to Cinderella. Three years ago, she was looking for a rigorous ballet school and discovered Patel through the recommendation of a dance instructor at Howard W. Blake School of the Arts.

"Ballet gives you the opportunity to be a completely different person. So much of ballet is telling a story, so when you are telling that story, you get to be completely involved in it. Ballet lets you use your body to express yourself," said Zoe. "It's nice to be a character on stage and let the audience see a different side of you, a side they don't get to see in every day life."

As a member of NGB, Zoe was selected for Cinderella based upon class ability and what the dance company had seen her perform before on stage.

"As there were only three girls to cast, I am really thrilled. I am with some girls that are in higher levels of the program than me, so I'm excited to be on the same playing field as them. It's an amazing opportunity and I'm very, very happy," she said. "I want the audience to understand the story, feel entertained, and to feel like they saw something on professional level - an amazing production."

Cinderella will be presented in Ferguson Hall May 5-6. Performances are Saturday at 2 and 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Regularly priced tickets start at $20. To learn more and to purchase tickets, visit www.strazcenter.org.

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From This Author Deborah Bostock-Kelley

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