SEQUIM — The classic tale of “Cinderella” — the scorned stepsister with a heart of gold — will twirl into life this weekend in Sequim, but with a new musical twist.
The production, starring Eleanor Byrne as Cinderella and her brother Liam Byrne as Prince Charming, features about 25 student dancers of the Sequim Ballet, all dancing to nontraditional music.
“We decided to pick our own music” because traditional tunes associated with the show are “a little dismal,” said Laurel Herrera, owner of Sequim Ballet and production choreographer.
“All the songs are original songs that we have picked to put into the ballet, and I think they are better than the original.”
The Sequim Ballet will present “Cinderella” twice this Saturday — at 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. — on the main stage of Olympic Theatre Arts Center, 414 N. Sequim Ave.
That schedule will be repeated Saturday, March 5.
Tickets are $10 each for general admission and can be purchased at the door or online at www.olympictheatrearts.org.
Tickets also can be purchased in advance at the OTA box office between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.
Proceeds will be donated to OTA.
30 original songs
The production includes about 30 original songs, all “handpicked and hand-put-together,” Herrera said.
“There is no falling back on the music that was written for the score.”
The story remains true to canon and will be “filled with humor, beauty and magic,” she said.
“As a group, we are all inspired by the music and story line of this ballet.”
Because this production will be a fresh take on the beloved fairy tale, Herrera said it has been quite challenging to piece together.
More complication each year
“This is the third time we have actually done a ballet, and each year, they have gotten more and more complicated,” she said.
Sequim Ballet, under Herrera’s direction, has been operating on the North Olympic Peninsula since 2010.
“Cinderella” is the most complicated production ever attempted by the ballet, Herrera said.
“Because of that, this has been more stressful than any of the other ones we have done,” she said.
“The dancers have worked very hard to bring ‘Cinderella’ to the stage.
“We’ve been in rehearsal for this since summertime.”
Herrera’s students range in age from 6 to 15, she said, adding that she is very proud of their dedication.
“You have to be here every Friday night whether you want to or not,” she said.
And “every Wednesday, the entire studio comes together for three hours,” Herrera continued.
“The kids get here right after school at 3:30 p.m. [and] stay until 6:30 p.m. We have been doing that now for eight weeks. It is such hard work.”
The students “have given up a lot, but that is what you have to do if you want to be . . . really good and have a fulfilling career” in ballet, Herrera said.
All that hard work will pay off when the students grace the stage, Herrera said, adding that the audience “will be amazed at the quality of the kids that are being trained in this small town.
“I expect them to perform like seasoned performers, and I think everybody will be very surprised at how professional they are.”
Herrera said she hopes to sow the seeds of greatness within her students.
“It is important for me to be that person in their life that sees the world a little differently and helps them rock it,” she said.
“It is important to feel you are a rock star in life” and can make a difference, “especially when you are 13.”
For additional information, call 360-683-7326.
Reporter Chris McDaniel can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56650, or email@example.com.