Getting in the mood for Cinderella: A Rock Opera Ballet (set in 1964)

Welcome to an all-access, behind the scenes look at what helped inspire our upcoming performance of Cinderella: A Rock Opera Ballet Set in 1964, straight from the directors’ sketchbook!  We’re so excited for this performance because Donna and Hannah are transforming the traditional story of Cinderella into a rock-and-roll version set back in the 1960’s, accompanied with live music.  How fun does that sound?!  The audience will be taken back in time while listening to songs by The Supremes, The Beatles, The Temptations and more!  Not only that, but we’re thrilled to welcome guest dancer Frederick Davis all the way from the Dance Theatre of Harlem to star as Prince Charming.  The show isn’t until May, but in the meantime let’s take a step back in time to see what was going on in 1964 and look at what helped inspire this one-of-a-kind, or should I say groovy performance…

  • Lyndon B. Johnson became President of the United States, winning with 61 percent of the vote.
  • Gas cost an average of 30 cents per gallon back then and a movie ticket was only $1.25! Oh, how times have changed. (Speaking of changing times, this is also the year Bob Dylan released his hit “Times They Are a-Changin.”)
  • The very first Ford Mustang rolled off the factory line and was introduced to the public at the World Fair in New York.
  • Buffalo wings were first made this year in Buffalo, New York and became an instant favorite.
  • Bell-bottomed pants were making their way into closets everywhere replacing capris and designer Mary Quant introduced the world to the mini-skirt, which changed sixties fashion for good.
  • Most TVs were black and white, and Sony introduced the first VCR Home Video Recorder.
  • This is the year that TV classic Bewitched started its eight year run, and most households tuned in to watch.
  • 1964 is the year The Beatles took the world by storm!  They made their first (of many) appearances on the Ed Sullivan Show and had THIRTEEN singles on Billboard’s Top 100 at the same time!
  • “I Want to Hold Your Hand” & “Can’t Buy Me Love” both by The Beatles, and “Baby Love” by The Supremes is what most people were rockin’ out to in 1964.
  • Music legends The Rolling Stones released their debut album titled “The Rolling Stones.”
  • It was a big year for Broadway! Classics like Hello Dolly, Funny Girl and Fiddler on the Roof all premiered on Broadway in New York City.
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was published by Roald Dahl.
  • Popular films this year included Mary PoppinsMy Fair Lady, and It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.

Doing some research to get a feel of what was going on in 1964 is playing a vital part behind the scenes.  Here are some pictures that Donna and Hannah tell us are helping guide the set and costume design for Cinderella.  This one helped give us a feel for what the set should look like if we really wanted to turn back the clock.

And these fabulous outfits helped inspire beautiful costumes for the performance.


Just looking at these pictures and listening to Shelley and Cal’s rehearsal versions of the Jersey Boys hit “Big Girls Don’t Cry” is already making me excited for Cinderella in May!  It’s sure to be another huge Ballet Fantastique hit, and I hope this behind-the-scenes look took you back in time and got you ready for what’s sure to be an unforgettable show!

Check out our website for more information on how to get your tickets (best seats for Saturday night are already disappearing fast).

This entry was posted in Ballet Fantastique, Behind the scenes, by Ballet Fantastique. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ballet Fantastique

Experience Ballet Fantastique's unmatched creativity and dramatic prowess. Comprised of 7 stunning dancers directed by mother-daughter team Donna and Hannah Bontrager, Ballet Fantastique presents productions full of sizzle and spice. Hailed as "la creme de la creme" (Eugene Weekly), Ballet Fantastique's all-original choreography infuses ballet with diverse new style, brave musical choices (from tango to Metallica), and passionate expression.

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