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BRB - Cinderella - Birmingham Hippodrome - Winter 2012


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"Jenna Roberts & Matthew Lawrence will be performing"

 

And wonderful they were, too. I thought Jenna was an absolute delight and Matthew's partnering was excellent. He was handed some flowers at the curtain calls, so I am guessing that was his last performance with BRB. A real shame, I shall miss him, but best wishes to him and his family for their future back in Australia.

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I saw the Saturday matinee yesterday - I was expecting to see Delia Matthews and Tyrone Singleton in the lead roles but when we got there the cast had changed again to Elisha Willis and Ian MacKay - I think they are the No1 cast upon which the ballet was created? Anyway despite Ms Willis not being my fave dancer she did a good job. Carole Ann Millar was just brilliant as Dumpy her comic timing is just perfect and Samara Downs played a very brat like Skinny all overseen by the matronly Marion Tait as the Wicked Step Mother! Victoria Marr was a lovely Fairy Godmother. The 4 seasons were a delight - my favourite dancer there being Momoko Hirata - she is just beautiful but all 4 were great to watch and the costumes were perfect. I loved all the frogs and the mice and the Corps de Ballet stars what can I say - GORGEOUS! The dancers in the opening scene of Act 2 at the Prince's Ball were lovely as well and I thought overall the dancers kept time well and all seemed to enjoy the performance. Ian MacKay safely executed the "Bolshoi Lift" in Act 2 and generally looked every inch a Prince is his lovely costumes and his dancing was lovely too. The costumes, sets and props (Cinderella's carriage and the clockworks) in this production are just stunning I really cannot stress this enough - truly fabulous. The orchestra were pretty good too! Well done to BRB - 11/10 from me :)

Edited by Don Q Fan
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I have seen Cinderella several times now but the Matinee on Wednesday 5th December was a very special, and joyous, performance. I think I am right in saying that the roles of Cinderella and the Prince were debut performances for Maureya Lebowitz and Mathias Dingman, and what stunning debuts they were. Maureya danced with such confidence, grace and beauty and her acting and facial expressions were wonderful. Her entrance to the Ball in Act 2, as she came on pointe to the front of the Stage was a spine tingling moment. She was superbly partnered by Mathias Dingman, who looked sparkling in his marvellous costumes. Again some lovely, often moving, facial expressions and acting, accompanied by exciting jumps and lifts. Such a joy to watch. I don't know enough to comment on the technical content of the dancing of this couple, but I do know that they are capable of "moving the soul" of the audience ( memories of their performances in Madding Crowd earlier in the year) and that to me is great dancing.

It seems unfair to pick out individual dancers to comment on from such a great overall performance by everyone, but i do love it when we see "junior" dancers being given solo/leading roles and watching how they perform them. At this matinee we saw Karla Doorbar dancing the Spring Fairy, and very good she was too; so graceful and with wonderfully precise footwork. The solos danced by the Seasons Fairies look incredibly difficult and she seemed to manage it with ease.

Then amongst the Princes Friends we had Max Maslen. I have noticed him before in various small roles but this time we got to see him showing us some fine classical dancing. And then partnering Karla Doorbar when the Fairies came on. Perhaps a very exciting future partnership, who knows? The other relative newcomer who continues to shine is William Bracewell; beautiful line and stunning jumps. ( and he looks so like Jamie Bond)

Although I have mentioned those Dancers this was a wonderful performance overall, from the little Mice to the main Dancers, to the magnificent Orchestra. Thank you all for a very special afternoon.

The young people sitting behind us had not been to a Ballet before and were talking about the Disney Cinderella before the performance started; even singing the Disney music! I was abit worried about what they would make of the Ballet of Cinderella, not to mention Prokoviev's music, but I needn't have worried, within minutes they were totally wrapped up in the ballet, laughing at Skinny and Dumpy ( Carol-Anne Millar has really perfected this role) and clapping and cheering at appropriate times. Hopefully some young Ballet fans were created!

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Louise Levene review of a performance from the start of the run:

 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/theatre/dance/9724329/Cinderella-Birmingham-Royal-Ballet-Seven-magazine-review.html

 

"Fun too are the mad, Jedward wigs of the tradesmen, the horde of shoeless girls limping in pursuit of the prince and the jolly mice, lizards and frogs."

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I saw four performances all towards the end of the run. I adore this production but I do have some difficulty reconciling the viciousness of the sisters towards Cinderella with the hilarity of their behaviour at the ball. I love the rich but muted colours in the ballroom and scene.

 

The four performances I saw were outstanding.

 

At the matinee, Elisha Willis and Iain Mackay created the roles of Cinders and the Prince in 2010 and they have grown and matured into them. Iain is the Prince to the tips of his fingers. Some of his facial expressions in the ballroom scene, where the sisters were trying to attract his attention, were hilarious, his dancing was expansive and his partnering generous. I loved Elisha's spunk in the kitchen scenes.

 

The same evening we were treated to an exquisite performance by Jenna Roberts and Matthew Lawrence. Jenna looked so downtrodden and fragile and Matthew was most definitely her knight in shining armour. I thought there was a special poignancy about their performance and realised why when Matthew was presented with a bouquet at the curtain calls - it was his final performance. He has been such a stalwart during his 4 years with the company he will surely be missed.

 

On Tuesday I had the privilege to watch Natasha Oughtred and Alex Campbell. It was a very special performance indeed. Natasha is growing in stature with every performance and her every movement and gesture had meaning. Well, what can I say about Mr Campbell, another artiste who has grown in stature. He made the Prince so believable. He looked lonely at his own ball and blossomed when he met Cinderella. Their duets were breath-taking and I was in tears in both Acts 2 and 3. A partnership made in heaven!

 

My final performance was on Saturday evening when Natasha Oughtred was partnered by Tyrone Singleton. Another blissful performance! If ever a dancer was born to dance the Prince it's Tyrone Singleton, who just inhabited the role. He and Natasha were sheer magic together and again I was moved to tears.

 

Of course, 2 dancers do not a ballet make and there were lots of other performances to enjoy. Mathias Dingman, Tzuchou Chou and James Barton were all splendid as the Dancing Master. Fergus Campbell was hilarious as the Costumier. Nat Skelton brought hilarity to the role of the flunky.

 

Both Samara Downs and Callie Roberts were hilarious as Skinny and Laura Purkiss and Jade Heuson were side-splittingly funny as Dumpy.

 

The corps were magnificent throughout.

 

All in all I had a thoroughly splendid time in Birmingham!

Edited by Janet McNulty
edited to make sense of one sentence
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