Love is in the air on stage in Sheffield with Northern Ballet's Cinderella
Cinderella swaps her glass slippers for point shoes in a revival of Northern Ballet's adaptation of Cinderella.
Sean Bates and Antoinette Brooks-Daw star as the Prince and Cinderella in the show, last seen on stage at the Lyceum in Sheffield five years ago.
The ballet returns to the Sheffield stage from September 24 to 28.
Sean recently appeared at the Lyceum in Victoria, when he danced the role of Prince Liko, husband of Princess Beatrice.
They both danced in Three Short Ballets at Cast in Doncaster last week.
Antoinette said: "I've previously played the younger Cinderella. I've been promoted to premier dancer this year.
"I'm also in another cast where I play the stepmother."
Northern Ballet has several casts for its bigger shows that tour extensively.
The production is set amid the glamour of imperial Russia and Antoinette said that the costumes and set are beautiful.
She said that clever co stum e design means that Cinderella’s transformation for the ball happens in front o f the audiences' eyes, with no trickery or special effects.
Antoinette said that playing different parts in Cinderella has helped her performance of the star role. "It gives you a different perspective on the role. Every role you do helps with it.
"The last time I did this was around five years ago. I played the younger version and one of the stepsisters.”
She said of Cinderella: “I think she does have a lot of fighting spirit, but more towards the end of the ballet. At the beginning she is resigned to the role and status of a servant, that is all she has ever known since she was a child.
“Then she meet a guy and everything changes. She is more confident and stronger and believes in herself a bit more. Towards the end she definitely gains her independence back.”
Sean said: “The Prince starts off very arrogant. He’s not a particularly nice guy and has lived a sheltered life. When he first sees Cinderella – they do see each other earlier on – she looks like a servant girl and he doesn’t pay her any more attention.”
Antoinette pointed out that Cinderella, on the other hand, is mesmerised by this fleeting glimpse.
Sean continued: “He is very much only looking at his own class. He sees a servant girl and doesn’t see anything. At the ball he thinks she must be a princess and he falls in love with her that way.”
When the Prince discovers Cinderella is a poor girl, he dismisses the idea of pursuing her and has to be persuaded by friends to go after her, said Sean, eventually asking her forgiveness.
“It is quite a nice story for us to play, it makes it really enjoyable, rather than them falling in love and then nothing really changes.”
The Northern Ballet dancers often appear in more than one show at a time and Antoinette said people are always fascinated by how they cope.
“At the moment I literally take one day or one week at a time. There’s so much going on, it's not possible to think about everything at once.”
Sean said that the company tried something different this year, where only a couple of dancers work with the choreographer to learn the role and teach it to the others in shows with multiple casts.
He taught the others the role of the Prince, laughing: “We had seven Princes together!”
*Box office: www.sheffieldtheatres.co.uk