A lovely lightness of being imbues the delicately balanced pirouettes and promenades of ballerina Ali Willson as she skims across the floor during a recent rehearsal for Maple Youth Ballet’s “Snow White,” premiering this Saturday at Irvine Barclay Theatre.
Based on the classic good-versus-evil fairytale by the Brothers Grimm, this weekend’s fanciful and fun family show features deft characterizations and choreography by Artistic Director Charles Maple as well as exquisitely crafted costumes and colorful sets created by the company’s talented family of volunteers.
As Snow White, the 16 year-old Willson brings a refreshingly youthful grace and poise to her leading role. It’s the perfect foil for the reigning beauty the Evil Queen, portrayed by fellow Newport Beach resident Cinamin Stulik. Stulik’s character is the embodiment of machiavellian malevolence, which sets the stage for the final showdown between Snow White’s ingenuous innocence and the Queen’s eaten-with-envy agenda.
“The ballet’s young dancers are very talented, but it’s often difficult to play older roles as a teenager. Charles needed the Queen to have more intense feelings,” says Stulik of her casting as the evil monarch.
A life-long dancer who studied at UCI as well as Joffrey and Boston Ballet’s summer intensives, her experience and mature professionalism is immediately obvious in the sharply effortless lines and beautifully arched feet underlying an edgily dramatic portrayal.