Ballet Hawaii presents a truly wicked "Cinderella"
For the past two decades, Derek Daniels has been creating, producing, directing, choreographing and costuming shows around the world. Now he can add to that list playing an ugly stepsister in Ballet Hawaii's "Cinderella."
Presented by Ballet Hawaii:
On stage: 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday
Place: Blaisdell Concert Hall
Tickets: $25 to $75
Call: 521-8600 or charge by phone at (877) 750-4400
"This is not just about being a ballerina," he said. "It takes a lot of committing to the role ... to the character. I'm the older sister -- the more wicked one of the two."
He's had some practice in the "wicked" department, having played the witch in "Sleeping Beauty" last year.
Daniels said the part will be most fun when he's pushing around his counterpart, Valentine Liberatore, who plays the other stepsister.
Liberatore said the taunting will go both ways. "It'll be a blast," he said. "The role itself is so comical."
Liberatore played the ugly stepsister twice with the Cincinnati Ballet. "There are lots of moments where we can be very creative ... there is lots of room to grow the character and put in your own personality," he said. The combination of dancing, character acting and pantomime gets "pretty intense," he added. "The fighting never stops -- it just keeps building. There is a competitive nature right from the start."
Not everything will be unattractive -- sparkling gowns, a fancy ball at the castle and a fairy godmother are bound to add an abundance of enchantment.
CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARBULLETIN.COM
Kayley Meckstroth, left, and Elisabeth Kurashige gawk as Derek Daniels gets into character as the ugly stepsister for Ballet Hawaii's "Cinderella." CLICK FOR LARGE
"Cinderella" is choreographed by Victoria Morgan of the Cincinnati Ballet; Janessa Touchet dances the title role. Joaquin de Luz of the New York City Ballet is the prince and Mishic Marie Corn, Liberatore's wife, plays the Fairy Godmother. Dancers from Ballet Hawaii, the mainland and Japan also join the cast.
The young dancers in Ballet Hawaii's summer intensive program have a "wonderful opportunity to really learn about every aspect of ballet," said Pamela Taylor-Tongg, artistic director. "They work with top professional dancers and learn about the rigors of professional dance life."
PRINCESS FOR A DAY
Girls will be transformed into miniprincesses at the Royal Tea Party at Blaisdell Concert Hall, held in connection with Sunday's performances of "Cinderella."
Participants will be given wands and tiaras, then will be announced and escorted down the red carpet to their seats. Boys will be given crowns.
The tea party, from noon to 1:45 p.m., costs $100 and includes a souvenir photo and premium orchestra seating for the 2 p.m. matinee of "Cinderella."
Iced tea will be served to keep the event kid-friendly and costumed characters from the show will visit the tables.
"This is the ideal experience for young arts patrons ages 4 to 12," said Pamela Taylor-Tongg, artistic director of Ballet Hawaii. "There will be guest chairs for favorite bears and other special friends. Grown-ups are encouraged to attend too." Call 521-8600.