For Immediate Release, February 15, 2019
Southern California Ballet to Premiere New “Cinderella”
San Diego, CA — Southern California Ballet will premiere a brand new production of “Cinderella” on April 6-7, 2019, staged by its co-artistic directors Martha Leebolt and Toby Batley, former principal dancers of Northern Ballet in Leeds, UK, now in their second year directing SCB. The full-length ballet will feature all new choreography set to the original Prokofiev score, a completely redesigned set, and 50 new costumes. The new production is made possible by Southern California Ballet’s annual fundraising gala, which took place on February 9, 2019 and raised $17,000 to support the project.
“This ballet has taken so many different forms, from traditional classical ballets to contemporary reimaginings. We are excited to create a new version that distills the story to its magical fairy tale beginnings and brings the storytelling up to date to endure for generations of SCB dancers, giving them the fantastic memories and experience that Cinderella has given so many others. The feeling of ownership and pride that comes as a dancer being involved in the new creation of a ballet is irreplaceable!” said Leebolt and Batley.
Taking place on Saturday, April 6 at 7:00 p.m., and Sunday, April 7 at 1:00 p.m. at the Poway Center for the Performing Arts, the production will feature world-class guest artist David Ward, formerly of BalletMet, Columbus, OH, as the Prince, and Southern California Ballet company dancers in the roles of Cinderella, the Fairy Godmother, the Step Sisters, and Princesses.
The evil stepmother will be played by San Diego native dancer, Isaiah Bindel who trained at San Francisco Ballet School and danced professionally with Gregory Dawson’s DawsonDanceSF in San Francisco. He currently performs with California Ballet.
For the first time, Southern California Ballet will also offer a free educational workshop at its studios for children in elementary and middle school on March 31 from 12:00-2:00 p.m. The workshop will introduce children to the art of ballet, focusing on “Cinderella,” and providing them with the opportunity to see brand new costumes and sets from the production up close. Participants will learn about the process of making a new ballet.
Co-artistic directors Leebolt and Batley—who came to San Diego in 2017 from Northern Ballet in Leeds, UK—share that they are very excited to be choreographing a full-length ballet from scratch. It will also feature supplementary choreography by Wendy Cormier, who is choreographing the group market scenes in the character dance style, as well as new costumes designed and created by Terry Worley of TUTUTerry, Carlsbad, CA.
After successfully revamping Southern California Ballet’s “Coppélia” production in 2018, Leebolt and Batley decided to recreate “Cinderella”— a classic fairy tale ballet whose history at SCB nearly goes back to the organization’s inception 34 years ago—for a new generation of dancers and audience members to enjoy. Leebolt herself has fond memories of performing the title role of Cinderella both as a student at SCB and in her professional career at Northern Ballet, Leeds, UK.
In addition to staging stunning ballet productions for the enjoyment of San Diego audiences, Southern California Ballet has always been dedicated to providing its students with the invaluable experience of taking part in professional-level productions and learning from exceptional guest artists both on and off the stage.
David Ward - The Prince
Former leading dancer with BalletMet, where he spent the last seven years, David Ward trained at the English National Ballet School and spent five years dancing with Northern Ballet in Leeds, UK. Mr. Ward’s career highlights include touring across mainland China, Hong Kong, Macao, and Thailand, as well as dancing for Prince Edward. He also danced in the International Ballet Stars Gala and was a guest performer in Las Vegas. Mr. Ward has spent past summers as a guest performer at the National Choreographer’s Initiative for their tenth anniversary performance and with Terpsicorps Theatre of Dance in North Carolina. Mr. Ward’s favorite performances include the title roles of “Hamlet,” “Peter Pan,” and “Dracula.” The most memorable performances include dancing the role of Romeo in “Romeo and Juliet,” the Cavalier in “The Nutcracker,” and the Prince in each of “Cinderella,” “The Sleeping Beauty,” and “Swan Lake.”
Isaiah Bindel - The Evil Stepmother
A San Diego-born dancer, Isaiah Bindel trained at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and the San Francisco Ballet School. He has previously danced with San Francisco Ballet and Gregory Dawson’s DawsonDanceSF, and currently performs with California Ballet.
In addition to bringing in international talent, Southern California Ballet is proud to train dancers with the skill and talent to be able to perform principal roles in its professional-level productions. The role of Cinderella will be played by Madeline Franz, a sophomore AP student, and Kanaha Takeda, a senior AP student, who both attend Rancho Bernardo High School. The Fairy Godmother will be played by Sanae Kanenobu and Kayla Kressin, both senior AP students at Poway High School. The Step Sisters will be played by Kayla Kressin and Kelsy Paraoan; Kelsy is a sophomore Honors/AP student at Del Norte High School who is currently preparing for her Cecchetti Ballet Teaching Certification.
Save the date! Performances of Cinderella will take place Saturday, April 6 at 7:00 p.m. and Sunday, April 7 at 1:00 p.m. at the Poway Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets will be sold both through the SCB website, www.southerncaliforniaballet.org/cinderella, and at the PCPA Box Office. Tickets are priced at $20, $29, or $38. Student, senior, group, and military discounts are available.
Poway Center for the Performing Arts is located at 15498 Espola Road, Poway, CA, 92064.
Notes to Editor:
SCB supports P.L.A.Y., Poway Leisure Assistance for Youth, Girls Scouts of America, and senior assisted living centers through reduced ticket prices striving to make ballet accessible and affordable for all to enjoy.