Tahlequah Daily Press

May 2, 2013

Fitting the glass slipper

Staff Writer

TAHLEQUAH — Local elementary school-age girls who dream of being princesses got an up close and personal experience Wednesday as Cinderella danced with Prince Charming right in front of them.

Members of Encore! Performing Arts Society and the Academy of Performing Arts performed scenes from Sergei Prokofiev’s ballet, “Cinderella,” for all three elementary schools in advance of performances slated Friday and Saturday, May 3-4.

Greenwood Elementary School Principal Susan VanZant said the timing of the visit could not have been better.

“The students in the first grade are comparing and contrasting different versions of Cinderella, so this worked out perfectly,” said VanZant.

APA Director Lena Gladkova-Huffman spoke to the children about the age-old folk tale and its many incarnations.

“Today, though, Cinderella will be all about ballet,” said Gladkova-Huffman. “The actual story was written a long, long time ago, about 300 years ago by a French man.”

Students listened with rapt attention, as Gladkova-Huffman continued giving the history of the beloved ballet.

“It wasn’t until the 20th century that a Russian man, Sergei Prokofiev, thought about making beautiful music to tell the story of Cinderella,” said Gladkova-Huffman. “He was interrupted in writing it, though, because there was a huge war, one that involved the whole world, World War 2, and people were wanting more patriotic music. Five years later, he returned to his work on the ballet, creating wonderful romantic music for a very romantic story.”

According to Wikipedia, “Cinderella,” or “The Little Glass Slipper,” was first published by Charles Perrault in “Histories ou contes du temps passé in 1697, and later by the Brothers Grimm in their folk tale collection Grimms’ Fairy Tales.

Cinderella debuted as a pantomime in 1904 at the Drury Lane Theatre, London, and made its first film appearance in 1899. It has also been adapted as an opera and ballet, with more than a dozen incarnations in 300 years.


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