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Prokofiev's Cinderella, Estonian National Ballet, 25 Nov 2012


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I had nothing better to do over the long (American) Thanksgiving weekend, so I decided to go to Tallinn to see the Estonian National Ballet perform Prokofiev’s Cinderella choreographed by Marina Kesler.

 

Compared to the Mariinsky’s performance of Prokofiev’s Cinderella choreographed by Alexei Ratmansky, which I recently saw in Washington D.C., the Mariinsky’s performance was much better.

 

In Kesler’s Cinderella, the backdrop of Cinderella’s home is a dizzying black and white herringbone pattern. The ball scene was an empty stage except for chairs on the stage’s perimeter. The stepmother (Triinu Leppik) and stepsisters (Marika Muiste and Heidi Kopti) were less than interesting characters and definitively not funny. The pas de deux between Cinderella (Alena Shkatula) and the Prince (Jevgeni Grib) was lacking. There was no chemistry between them, and it appeared that they never danced together. The costumes were not appealing either. For example, the Prince wore white pants, a white blazer-type top (nothing underneath) that was made of some sort of reflective material, a lilac-colored sash, and a very small lilac-colored crown cocked to one side of his head. I though the ballet was going to morph into an all male review. The only bright spot was the dance teacher (Jonathan Hanks) who was pointing as he showed the stepmother and stepsisters how to dance. His pointing was marvelous. It’s my understanding that Hanks trained at the Royal Ballet School.

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