Cinderella - Birmingham Royal Ballet
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Award-winning choreographer David Bintley creates his own stunning new Cinderella fairy story, with an unsettling edge of darkness, reflecting Prokofiev's searing score.
Designer John Macfarlane conjures up a magical world to bring this much loved fairytale to life. He transforms the cold grey kitchen into a dreamlike fantasy, all magical and shimmering; the glittering coach, brought on by mice and lizards, gleams with frost; the ball scene is a feast of swirling decadence; and Cinderella vanishes at the stroke of midnight through the whirring mechanism of a simply amazing clock. The piece ends with a vast celestial body melting on to the stage.
Elisha Willis's forlorn Cinderella is brutally treated by her two bullying stepsisters in their grim kitchen, encouraged by their elegant but superbly cruel mother. The sisters tread a nimble line between comedy and nastiness, while never descending to caricature. Their raucous behavior, as they attempt to attract the attention of every eligible bachelor they see, is brought to life with hilariously faulty footwork. But the show is made truly heartwarming through the vision of Cinderella's suffering being transformed into deserved joy as she meets her Prince and lives happily ever after.
'This Cinderella is a theatrical banquet for the eyes' THE TELEGRAPH
' ...a potent, imaginative and emotionally intoxicating version of an oft-told tale' THE STAGE
' ...the real achievement is Bintley's, for uniting a 17th-century fairy tale and a bittersweet 20th-century score in a production of real emotional resonance' GUARDIAN
'In ballet terms, this is a good Cinderella; as theater, it is sensational' EXPRESS
Director and Choreographer: DAVID BINTLEY
Set and Costume Designer: JOHN F. MACFARLANE
Stage Lighting Design: DAVID A. FINN
Music: SERGEI PROKOFIEV
Cinderella: ELISHA WILLIS
The Prince: IAIN MACKAY
Skinny: GAYLENE CUMMERFIELD
Dumpy: CAROL-ANNE MILLAR
Cinderella s Stepmother: MARION TAIT
The Fairy Godmother: VICTORIA MARR
Spring: MOMOKO HIRATA
Summer: LEI ZHAO
Autumn: ANGELA PAUL
Winter: DELIA MATHEWS
Prince s Friends: JAMIE BOND, JOSEPH CALEY, ALEXANDER CAMPBELL, MATHIAS DINGMAN
ROYAL BALLET SINFONIA
Conductor: KOEN KESSELS
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Top Customer Reviews
The set design and costumes are magnificent, I wish all ballets had sets and costumes this beautiful. I enjoyed the substitution of the dances of the four seasons instead of the ethnic dances.
The editing was appropriate, with closeups (mostly) chosen well. One tiny quibble, I would have liked to have seen a wide shot of the huge clock as it comes together on stage. I think overall, the editing was very well done - everyone is going to have different tastes as to how much close up work they would like to see.
This Cinderella is a must own for any ballet library. Buy it - you won't regret it.
THE PERFORMANCE IS VERY TECHNICAL AND WELL LAID OUT .
I WOULD PREFER MORE EMOTION BETWEEN THE TWO MAIN DANCERS .
COSTUMES ARE BRIGHT AND COLORFUL , SETS ARE ARE IN STEP AND LEND TO THE STORY .
VIDEO IS A 9 AUDIO IS A 10 .
I WOULD RECOMMEND THIS VIDEO AS A TEACHING TOOL AND ANY AGE WILL ENJOY THE PERFORMANCE .
HOWEVER , I CAN NOT SAY THIS PERFORMANCE IS A DEFINITIVE VERSION .
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The choreography is mostly perfect: a kind of abridged, playful, sometimes speeded up version of the more serious Petipa classicism. It makes the whole work seem like something of a ballet in miniature. In one of the Prince's solos, a few mazurka steps are added at the very end where you don't expect them, which adds a feeling of lightness. One of Cinderella's solos is something of a summary of one of Aurora's in Sleeping Beauty-which I don't take as plagiarism but rather as a clever tribute. It's as if Cinderella were Aurora's little sister. My friend who preferred the PNB version cited the superior choreography given there to the ball dancers, and I don't think I can argue with that.
One of the reviewers criticized the sets, and I suppose I can agree that the kitchen set is awfully dingy. However, in this version the stepmother and her daughters do come off a bit more like pretentious hillbillies with a bit of spending money, especially at the ball, so maybe the shabby kitchen is dramatically appropriate after all. Be that as it may, I absolutely loved the sets for the ball and the finale. Their lack of realism was perfect for making the whole story seem like a dream: the way the night sky blends into the architecture of the palace...and especially the finale set's spectacular abstract sunrise combining many colors but centering on gold...and the highly color-blended lighting that bespeaks ecstasy. If you want something totally literal, then don't go for this. If you want a dreamlike ballet, then this is for you.
Her prince is Gennadi Lediakh, who, typical of his generation, displayed more virility and power than refinement of technique. However, he is a dashing and believable prince and an excellent complement to Struchkova.
Besides Struchkova's performance, my favorite part of the ballet is the dances of the Fairies of Spring (the lovely and future great Ekaterina Maximova), Summer, Fall and Winter, with their beautiful costumes and set.
Look for other productions of Cinderella by the Berlin Comic Opera Ballet, the Paris Opera Ballet and the Royal Ballet.