He is a dancer and lover of the arts, Jose Miguel Salem has already more than 20 years forming and directing talents in Danzas Jazz and this time brings us the “Cinderella” musical.
“I always wanted to be a dancer” says Salem, as a teenager his father took him to United States to finish high school at a military school. “But I was a fan of Broadway musicals so he took me to 50 plays and unwittingly encouraged my interest in dance.”Despite the limitations and the opposition of his family, Salem decided to study modern dance with Israeli Teacher Eshel Tali at the age of 18 after a failed attempt to study economics. Then he enrolled at the Institute Mauge Raymond, where he learned classical dance.
Jose Miguel returned to Ecuador at the age of 22, in 1988, and decided to partner with dancer Maria Enriqueta Banda to put together his first musical “A Night on Broadway” in Teatro Centro de Arte, where 18 people including Yesenea Mendoza and Carla Sala, participated. Thanks to the good results of their first musical, Salem and Banda presented “A Christmas Carol” and later founded Danzas Jazz Producciones.
Salem noticed that there were no schools teaching modern dance, jazz, and ballet in Guayaquil so he decided to create the Escuela Danzas Jazz in 1990, an institution that continues receiving children, teens and adults who want to learn performing arts to this day. “Dance helps personality development,” says Salem, who also added that people like David Reinoso, Pamela Cortez and Gabriela Pazmino, just to name a few, attended Danzas Jazz as students.
A few months ago Salem called a casting to choose the cast that would give life to the story of Richard Rodgers & Oscar Hammerstein, “Cinderella.” Around 200 people, including actress Claudia Camposano, attended the auditions.
This time, Salem had to work with live music and vocals. Sofia Nieto will play Cinderella, Martin Guerrero will be Prince Christopher, Ivonne Hidalgo plays the stepmother, Patricia Salem will play the mother of Prince and Claudia Camposano and Priscila Aguilera will be Cinderella’s stepsisters.
Pamela Rizzo had to build eight scenery sets inspired in the year 1850 while Silvana Macias was in charge of costumes, a total 250 clothing pieces including costumes, wigs, shoes and accessories made according to the time.
“Merging the singing, acting and choreography took a lot of work,” said Jose Miguel, so it’s no wonder that the cast had to rehearse for nine weeks for staging. But that was not the only challenge for Danzas Jazz’s director, he also had to adapt the script from English to Spanish while Patricio Lopez, who plays King Maximilian in the play, adapted the songs.
20 artists will stage today at the premiere of “Cinderella” which will be held in Teatro Centro de Arte at 19:30 (GMT-5). The musical will also be presented on Sunday at 11:30 (GMT-5) and at 18:00 (GMT-5). Price of the tickets vary within seats’ location: $ 30 orchestra, $ 25, mezzanine and lower, and $ 20, pit top, available at Musicalísimo in Mall del Sol, Village Plaza and Policentro.
Salem is now planning to prepare Christmas shows for the end of the year and also hopes to give life to the ogre Shrek in 2012.