Music by: Sergei Prokofiev/Choreography by: Melissa & Michael French/Performed by: NewArt School of Ballet
I recently had the privilege of seeing our local ballet perform Prokofiev’s Cinderella. It was absolutely stunning! The storyline is very much the traditional: Cinderella is kept busy doing chores while her stepmother and stepsisters, Anastasia and Drusilla, are obnoxious. The invitation goes out to the prince’s ball where he is rumored to be choosing his bride, and everyone is all in a fluster to get ready. Of course, poor Cinderella is left alone in her rags at home while everyone goes to the ball . . . until her Fairy Godmother slips in to change her fate and help her meet Prince Charming. Cue fairy-tale ending.
Cinderella is such a classic story–because it works. (Personally, I’m not a fan of the Disney version, but retellings like Bound and Ella Enchanted are some of my favorites). Prokofiev’s version works really well, expressing in a poetic combination of dance, acting, and music a story that is poignant, beautiful, dreamy, and hilarious. The serious characters like Cinderella, the Fairy Godmother, and Prince Charming are lovely and elegant–absolutely gorgeous to watch. But let’s face it, it’s the stepsisters that make the story; they are lazy, ill-bred, slovenly, stuck up, and utterly selfish in a most comical way–utterly abhorrent, yet utterly amusing onstage. I think the NewArt School’s portrayal of all the characters and the story was remarkably well done, with just the right combination of the beautiful poetry of dance and the poignancy and humor of the story. And of course, the music is absolutely gorgeous: haunting, eerie, uplifting, sweeping. Basically, if you ever get a chance to see Cinderella performed, I would say “go.”