Dance: Cinderella

Cinderella is not only a classic rags-to-riches fairytale; it’s also one of the most beloved classical story ballets, featuring a lively Prokofiev score. But de la Dance Company’s Artistic D

Cinderella is not only a classic rags-to-riches fairytale; it’s also one of the most beloved classical story ballets, featuring a lively Prokofiev score. But de la Dance Company’s Artistic Directors Mario de la Nuez and Meridith Benson want to make sure their production — taking place at the Aronoff Center’s Jarson-Kaplan Theater this Friday and Saturday — isn’t too overly classical. Nuez wants to strike the perfect balance between serious ballet and a fun time for all ages — not too silly and slapstick, but not boring. “I personally like classical ballet in all its forms, but I like to bring it down to an earthier approach,” Nuez says.“Not just classical ballet, which bores most people. We have choreography that is compelling and valuable, but at the same time entertaining and meaningful.” As veterans of major ballet companies, Nuez and Benson know their audiences. Benson is a former dancer of Joffrey Ballet of Chicago, to name one, and both have danced with Cincinnati Ballet. They’ve assembled a mixed Cinderella cast: a dozen professional dancers (including another former Cincinnati Ballet dancer, Mark Cisler), pre-professionals, character roles (such as ugly stepsisters played by men in drag) and some children’s roles that involve real dance skills — not just cute costumes. $18-$30. 8 p.m. Friday Feb. 8; 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday Feb. 9. Aronoff Center for the Arts, 650 Walnut St., Downtown. 513-621-2787, cincinnatiarts.org.

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