NICEVILLE — The Northwest Florida Ballet will present the beloved fairytale, 'Cinderella', with Sinfonia Gulf Coast, led by Maestro Demetrius Fuller, providing live orchestral accompaniment.

With choreography by NFB Artistic Director Todd Eric Allen music by Serge Prokofiev, the timeless classic will be presented in three acts 7:30 p.m. March 5 and 2:30 p.m. March 6 at the Mattie Kelly Arts Center, Northwest Florida State College, 100 College Blvd., Niceville.

Tickets for the Niceville performances go on sale Feb. 5. They cost $35 for adults and $17 for children 12 and under. Purchase online at www.nfballet.org or  call 664-7787.

In addition to its two public performances, NFB will also perform for area school children and special needs groups 10 a.m. March 4. Contact the NFB office for additional information or to purchase tickets for a class or group.

THE HISTORY BEHIND THE FAIRY TALE

"Arguably one of the most beloved fairytales of all time, Cinderella doesn't just speak to children. There is a part of her story that touches people of all ages. Although we find Walt Disney's animated classic and last year's feature film versions the most familiar, Cinderella's origins can be traced back to ninth century A.D. Chinese folklore that praised the virtues and loveliness of women with tiny feet, " said Allen.

While the story has taken on many forms in cultures across the globe, Charles Perrault, a 17th century French writer and political figure is credited with the original story that most Americans have come to know. The first staging of Cinderella as a ballet was conceived by Sir Fredrick Aston in 1948 for London's Sadler's Wells Ballet and was hailed as an instant classic. The weary post-war audiences were eager to be enchanted and were thoroughly charmed by the rags-to-riches story about a young girl's magical journey from struggle and heartbreak to the ultimate happy ending.

NFB company dancers Brooklyn Burbidge and Jonathan Carter portray the roles of Cinderella and her handsome prince.  To get to her prince, Cinderella has to get past her cruel stepsisters, hilariously performed by Wayman Ezell and Preston Dyar.  NFB's Assistant Artistic Director Sharon Allen will play the part of the conniving wicked stepmother and Jeff Prescott will portray Cinderella's overwhelmed father.

Also featured in this year's production will be NFB company dancers Ella Brummett as the Fairy Godmother and Jason Bailey as the comical Jester.  NFB Company dancers Alex Trum, Victoria Garofalo, Sabrina Lobner and Payton Beason will play the roles of the fairies of the seasons.