Orlando Ballet production of ‘Cinderella’ adds a twist to ugly stepsisters

‘Cinderella’ premieres Feb. 14 at the Dr. Phillips Center

ORLANDO, Fla. – The two Orlando Ballet dancers playing Cinderella’s stepsisters will add a humorous twist to the classic production set to premiere at the Dr. Phillips Center for Performing Arts.

This Valentine’s Day the Orlando Ballet Company will present a version of “Cinderella” where Matthew Cunningham and Adam Boreland won’t exactly be prince charming.

Cunningham and Boreland are playing the ugly stepsisters in this new version of “Cinderella.”

“It’s gonna be a blast, it’s really fun and my sister is Matthew we’re great friends in the company life so it transforms us even more on stage because we have that camaraderie,” Boreland said.

For Cunningham, his performance will give him a chance to showcase two of his passions.

“It’s honestly an honor because I love both ballet and I love drag,” he said.

The production will mix the classical story with the modern twist, surely providing lots of laughs.

The dancers said audience members can expect a lot of exciting choreography from the goofy, playful sisters.

“It really allows for a great deal of slapstick and humor and the 2 in our cast, Adam and Matthew are having a ball and they’re really gonna bring down the house,” Orlando Ballet Company Artistic Directo Robert Hill said.

Hill said this isn’t the first time men will play female roles in the Cinderella production.

“There are no rules for it, you know one company had just two females playing the ugly stepsisters, one had a male and a female, and, of course, many versions have the male and the male,” Hill said.

The roles also bring a greater challenge to the dancers.

“Especially being a guy and doing the sisters, it really challenges us to combine our technique along with the characterization of it," Boreland said. “It’s pretty difficult and the first entrance we have is seven minutes non-stop.”

Boreland is in his 4th season with the company.

"It is exciting and it's the Prokofiev's score. It's got a lot of the original, traditional sort of feel to it but it really does have a freshness and I think it's because of the way it's been choreographed and coached," Hill said.

From February 14 -16, the Orlando Ballet will perform five shows at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. Cinderella is the first show of 2020 and the 3rd in the season.

The opening show happens Friday at 7:30 p.m. Purchase tickets at orlandoballet.org.

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