Left – Lana Jones. Photo – Lynette Wills. Cover – Eloise Fryer and Ben Davis. Photo – Jeff Busby
Australian Ballet’s Cinderella has been beautifully revamped by choreographer Alexei Ratmansky. Formerly artistic director of the renown Bolshoi Ballet, and currently the artist-in-residence with the American Ballet Theatre in New York, Ratmansky is white hot in the ballet world and very much in demand, because of his skill in merging classical technique with a contemporary sensibility.
The beloved fairytale is moulded into a different type of happily-ever-after, which although does feature a fairy godmother (Lynette Wills) – albeit slightly resembling Mary Poppins with an elongated nose – it does not incorporate a carriage which is fashioned from a pumpkin, nor do any mice show off their sartorial talents, or morph into hoses.
What Ratmansky’s Cinderella does have, are two silly step sisters and a ruthless but equally comical step mother (Valerie Tereshchenko, Ingrid Gow, Eloise Fryer), who as talented as they are as dancers, are also the cause for a great deal of burst-out-loud laughter from the audience.
Also, a collection of cosmic characters, the sun, moon and planets, spin and transform Cinderella from a raggedy house servant into the beautiful maiden on her journey to the royal ball.
The costumes by Jerome Kaplan, are remarkable; bold in colour and execution. The step family don bright beehive hairstyles and bubble dresses, and the celestial bodies perhaps inspired by the Ballets Russes’ The Fire Bird, in their vibrancy and whimsy.
This lovely interpretation of Cinderella, is far from a rehash of a tried and true fairytale to Sergei Prokofiev’s score, it successfully marries old-fashioned storytelling, with a modern twist, appealing to both the dance purist as well as to those who may not be such seasoned ballet goers, and little aspiring ballerinas donning tiny tutus to the show.
Australian Ballet presents
Choreography Alexei Ratmansky
Venue: State Theatre, Arts Centre Melbourne
Dates: 19 – 27 June 2015
Bookings: www.australianballet.com.au | 1300 369 741