Boston Ballet’s ‘Cinderella’ Dances Her Way Into Our Hearts (4 Stars)
‘Cinderella’ – by Boston Ballet; Artistic Director: Mikko Nissinen; Music: Sergei Prokofiev; Choreography: Sir Frederick Ashton; Costume and Set Design: David Walker; Lighting Design: John Cuff; at the Boston Opera House through March 23rd
Cinderella, the classic tale of an unfortunate girl-turned-servant, taken from rags to riches simply by showing that she has goodness in her heart, has officially made its company premiere at the Boston Ballet. Make sure you head over to the beautiful Boston Opera House this week, with your little princesses in tow, because it’s well worth the trip.
I’ll start off by saying this was my first trip to the Boston Ballet. Ever. And boy, did I pick a fabulous first night! If you have ever thought that the ballet would be boring, too long, or maybe something for the wealthy elderly, you could not be more wrong. There were many small princes and princesses present and enjoying the show without much fuss, despite its length. This was most likely due to the two intermissions, breaking up the show into very nice segments, which felt very quick.
Our adorable and petite Cinderella, Misa Kuranaga, was very emotional and lovely. Her step-“sisters’ (Mr. Yury Yanowsky and Mr. Boyko Dossey) were of course just the opposite. Although they were very technical in their goofy movements and bickering, they danced with a clumsy grace. I kept waiting and looking for the stepmother, but she was not in this version, and I suppose she’s not necessary to the storyline when it’s being told through dance and music instead of dialogue.
The Fairy Godmother (Petra Conti) was explained very nicely, appearing as a beggar woman before helping the girl who slept in cinders whom had shown her so much kindness. She later returns taller than any other ballerina on the stage, toes pointed and magic wand waving with her fairy helpers accompanying her very nicely. There were many more fairies than what we’re used to seeing in the typical portrayal, but they’re more relevant to the common folklore about who the fairies are and what they represent (Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter). And who could complain about more dancers with beautiful pastel tutus covered in flowers and glitter? Not to mention their pointed toes moving with dainty perfection across the floor.
One thing that struck me as quite odd, was that Cinderella was not wearing her glass slippers during the ball! The silver glittery ballet slippers that are the centerpiece of the ballet’s advertisement, did not make an appearance on her feet during a scene which held elaborate dances between herself and her newly found prince. But when she ran off at midnight, the glittery slipper that she left behind, appeared at the top of the stairs as though that was the one she had been wearing the entire time. Perhaps there was a logistical problem with her having glittery pointed ballet shoes, but it was honestly the first thing that I noticed when they were plain and white. They were the pretty sparkly ones later on when her prince finds her again, but it just didn’t make much sense. And the costumer might want to take note that her dress was so closely colored to the group of fairies’ dresses, that I found it hard to pick her out from the crowd a few times.
All that aside, the Prince (Jeffrey Cirio) was as handsome and princely as he should be. He lifted Cinderella with great strength and grace, and I was quite impressed with their stunts together, but I won’t spoil your future amazement. His search for her was a bit rushed, and only the stepsisters tried on the shoe before our heroine, but I’m sure for time sake they decided to skip a queue of eligible young ladies. In the end (as we all know) she is found, they dance together, and They Live Sparkly Ever After. **Note for parents: Don’t be afraid to bring your little ones, the three acts go by quickly and perhaps those as young as 4 years old would be OK for the entirety of the show and its two intermissions. For more info, go to: http://www.bostonballet.org/cinderella/