Turning Points

‘Cinderella’ and ‘Sleeping Beauty’ return to the stage on Saturday


Danscompany of Gainesville’s 20th annual production of “Cinderella,” with Kayla Jones in the title role and Jose Acevedo as the Prince, takes the Phillips Center stage on Saturday with two performances. (Courtesy of Danscompany of Gainesville)

Published: Thursday, December 6, 2012 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, December 5, 2012 at 1:13 p.m.

Princesses, fairies and spells, oh my! The ballet weekend with works inspired by two classic fairy tales is here.

Danscompany of Gainesville crowns its 20th “Cinderella” Saturday at the Phillips Center for the Performing Arts at 1:30 and 7 p.m.

Also on Saturday, Doxa Dance Company presents its second annual “Sleeping Beauty and the Saving Prince” at 6:30 p.m. The production is at the Santa Fe College Fine Arts Hall.

Doxa’s original adaptation draws inspiration from the 19th-century classical ballet, “The Sleeping Beauty.” Tickets are $12 through the Santa Fe box office, at the door or at www.doxadance

studio.com.

Doxa Dance Company is the performing troupe of Doxa Dance Studio, based in the Thornebrook Shopping Center.

The company’s director is studio owner Suzanne Barroso, who opened Doxa in 2004.

Doxa is the Greek word for “glory,” which reflects the Christian emphasis of Barroso’s vision for her school and its performing company.

“In our rendition, Prince Florimund represents Christ,” says Barroso. “He offers to take Aurora’s place, rather than just kiss her. Because of his sacrifice and unconditional love, the spell is broken.”

Beyond that symbolism, Barroso says her production is “very true to the classical ballet.”

“We use the same music and reflect the same choreography,” she says.

Being a condensed version, Barroso also calls her “Sleeping Beauty” very family-friendly. “We actually have a pre-show in the lobby, to entertain the audience kids, starting at 6 p.m.”

Doxa alumna and instructor Sharon Brown stars as Aurora, with 17-year-old company member Alyssa Hopkins as the Lilac Fairy. Guest artist Matthew Teoli performs as the Prince.

Meanwhile, in the neighboring kingdom of the Phillips Center, Danscompany of Gainesville presents its own fairytale saga, “Cinderella.”

Tickets are $12 through the Phillips box office or at the door. Children ages 10 and younger can attend free with the donation of a new, unwrapped toy or book, though these complimentary tickets are limited.

The original ballet is generally based on the classical version and set mostly to the well-known Prokofiev score.

“Cinderella” features more than 125 performers, beautiful costumes and scenery, magical effects and comedic moments.

Kayla Jones, a dual-enrolled student at Buchholz High School and Santa Fe, dances the title role. Also dual-enrolled through Buchholz and Santa Fe is junior Skylar Stevens, who dances as Fairy Godmother.

Professional guest dancer Jose Acevedo arrives from Puerto Rico to reprise the role of the Prince.

After each show, audience members can have what Danscompany bills as a “Happily Ever After” photo opportunity with cast members, who will also be on hand to sign autographs.

This year is a major milestone for Danscompany. In addition to “Cinderella’s” 20th’s birthday, the company itself is celebrating its 30th year.

Danscompany’s director and founder is Nina Cameron, owner of Cameron Dancenter, which has locations in both Ridgeway Village and Haile Village.

She is past president and convention manager of Florida Dance Masters, past area director of American Jazz Dance Council and the former director of Florida competitions of Mr. And Miss Dance, a national organization.

Cameron has received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the City of Gainesville and the Alachua County Cultural Affairs departments.

Danscompany’s commitment to outreach includes providing more than 300 free tickets each season to groups such as Ronald McDonald House and PACE Center for Girls. Performances feature an American Sign Language interpreter for the hearing impaired. And Danscompany’s “Chance to Dance” program brings dance education to public school children, providing a main stage performance opportunity to these students each spring.

As such, the motto for Danscompany’s 30th anniversary season is “Commitment, Compassion, Community.”

Sarah Maze can be reached at sarahi@ufl.edu.

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