Enchanting ballet performance

The Hope College Ballet Club brought a beloved fairytale to life over the weekend. This year, the club’s annual production was “Cinderella and the Glass Slipper.” The production featured Prokofiev’s “Cinderella” as performed by the London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Andre Previn. Directed by Jenny Lussenhop (’19), Emma Scannell (’20) and Emma Barnhart (’21), the production consisted of a cast of 17 Hope students, who auditioned back in October. The Hope College Ballet Club accepts every dancer that auditions, no matter their level of experience. The show consisted of eight different scenes that were completely choreographed and performed by students.

Despite not uttering a single word, the dancers were able to tell the timeless story of Cinderella through their enchanting pirouettes and grand jetés. Similar to the traditional story, Cinderella lived a sad, chore-filled life that was controlled by her evil stepmother and stepsisters. One day in the village the royal herald announced that the prince was in need of a wife, and there would be a royal ball, so he could find a bride. All of the women in the village dreamed of being the prince’s bride, including Cinderella and her stepsisters. Cinderella longed to go to the ball to dance with the prince, but her cruel stepmother would never allow it. While she was sweeping, Cinderella was visited by her fairy godmother and the four fairies of the seasons: Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. They transformed Cinderella’s rags into a beautiful gown and took her to the ball.

After intermission, the performance continued with the grand ball, where the prince danced with all of the young maidens of the village. When he saw Cinderella, everything changed. They danced until the clock struck midnight, when Cinderella had to leave the ball and run from the prince. While the prince chased after her, Cinderella lost one of her slippers, which was all the prince had to identify her by. The prince and his herald went to all the women of the village to see if any of them would fit the slipper. Finally, the prince found Cinderella, she gave him her other slipper, and they lived happily ever after. The love story brought smiles to the audience.

Gillian Skiba (’22) was cast as the winter fairy in her first year as a member of Ballet Club. She joined because “I love ballet and it has always been something that brings me a lot of joy. When I came to Hope I had never done a show that was just ballet, so I thought it would be a fun new experience. I also thought it would be a great chance to perform, which is my favorite part of dancing.” When asked about her favorite part of this production, she responded, “Besides getting to wear the most fabulous tutu and douse myself in glitter, I would have to say the people. I’ve become friends with so many girls I have been in class with all year, but whom I didn’t know well until this production. I also have been able to get to know, work with, and learn from some amazing upperclassmen who have really inspired me and helped me to become a better dancer.”

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