BUCKHANNON – “The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” took a hiatus this year as Augusta Youth Ballet Company brought something new to Buckhannon.
“Cinderella,” as produced by the AYBC based out of The Dance Factory in Buckhannon, was chosen to be the holiday ballet this year after many renditions of “The Nutcracker.”
Nina Scattaregia, director of AYBC and The Dance Factory, and Cinderella’s fairy godmother in the ballet, said, “We wanted to do a new ballet – something that we had not done before to give the dancers a chance to learn a different style of dancing but also a ballet that would appeal to a wide audience from young kids to family. There’s comedy, there’s some sad parts in the ballet, we thought ‘Cinderella’ would be a good option for our audience.”
Besides the storyline, “The Nutcracker” and “Cinderella” have very different styles, according to Scattaregia.
“’The Nutcracker’ has a lot of character roles so the dances for all the different land of the sweets is very stylized,” she said.
“There’s a lot more acting in ‘Cinderella.’ There’s a lot more mime involved. The period is different. The style of the costumes is different. It has a completely different look.”
And, while ‘Cinderella’ may be most recognized in its Disney animation and more recent live-action formats, Scattaregia said, “It’s definitely not Disney ‘Cinderella.’”
AYBC began rehearsals the second week of September with members of the senior company taking on various leading roles and some guest actors performing as well.
Cinderella was played by AYBC member Zoe Payne who has trained at The Dance Factory for 14 years.
Scattaregia said Payne has received numerous scholarships in dance including Joffrey Ballet Center, the artEmotion’s Ballet Summer Intensive and Governor’s School for the Arts.
Now a senior at Philip Barbour High School, Payne plans to pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance to perform and choreograph professionally.
Cinderella’s Prince Charming in the ballet, Caleb Waybright, earned his BFA in dance performance from Radford University but was also a student of The Dance Factory under Scattaregia.
He has danced professionally with Roanoke Ballet Theatre, Theatre of West Virginia, Rosenlieb Dance, Virginia Ballet Theater and Dancing Wheels Company.
Waybright said, “It’s just really nice to dance where I started, see all the people and help the students,” he said. “What I like more than dancing is coaching and teaching.”
Waybright performed in “The Nutcracker” last year for AYBC and in another performance of “Nutcracker” in Cleveland last week.
While he has done ‘Cinderella’ one of the time, Waybright said this is his first time as Prince Charming.
“I was just generic man number 3 before,” he said of his first experience with “Cinderella.”
Scattaregia said that about 50 people including dancers and guest artists came together to produce “Cinderella” this past weekend.
The AYBC receives support from the Upshur Arts Alliance.
For more information, visit www.dancefactorywv.com.