Scottish Ballet will retell the story of classic fairy tale Cinderella with a male in the leading role.
The ballet company aims to “surprise and delight” audiences with the new “charming” twist to the festive favourite.
Audiences won’t know whether the lead will be played by a man or a woman until the curtain goes up.
The company said: “Some nights the lead character of Cinders will be a woman, swept off her feet by her Prince, and on others, Cinders will be a man, swept off his feet by his Princess.”
The ballet will be set in a draper’s store at the turn of the 20th century and will feature an art-nouveau inspired set with a score by Sergei Prokofiev.
CEO and artistic director, Christopher Hampson, said: “I’m delighted to be bringing this fresh approach to such a well-known fairytale.
“I have always believed Prokofiev essentially composed a love story, yet full of wit and humour, which underpins this new production.
“I’m enjoying the playfulness of searching for who guides the narrative and who drives the dream.
“Collaborating with Elin Steele and the ever-adventurous dancers; we are coming together to deliver a classic Cinders for today.”
While the switch up doesn’t mean there will be an LGBTQ+ coupling for Cinders, Scottish Ballet said there would be a gay love story blossoming in the background for other characters.
Bruno Michiardi, principal dancer at the company, said: “What I’ve found most interesting about the fluidity of the roles of the Cinders leads is just how different and new it’s made the ballet feel.
“We all know and love the classic story of Cinderella, but this new version means we’re suddenly working in this amazing upside-down realm, where the male part (previously a more traditionally stoic character) is a complex mixture of vulnerability and resilience, and the female role (usually quite timid and downtrodden for most of the original ballet) is empowered and full of charisma.
“I’m excited at the prospect of exploring this further and sharing that with the audience,” he said.
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