BWW Reviews: American Ballet Theatre's Cutting-edge CINDERELLA
American Ballet Theatre's premiere of the Royal Ballet's Cinderella was a beautifully romantic and astonishingly comedic whirlwind of a fairytale. With Frederick Ashton's cutting-edge choreography set to Sergei Prokofiev's vibrant score, American Ballet Theatre delivered a ballet enjoyable for all ages.
Ashton's Cinderella is unlike the Disney fairytale, which many young audience members had hoped it to be. However, it is quite a fresh, theatrical spectacle for a production more than 65 years old! Despite the differences between the beloved film and this Royal Ballet classic, the audience was touched and very much entertained.
While the audience eagerly waited for the magic of the grand ball, they were kept amused by Cinderella's stepsisters, played by Roman Zhurbin and Craig Salstein. This show-stealing pair had such amazing chemistry that it was easy for the audience to forget who the main duo was. Their silly dancing and unbelievably ridiculous antics created plenty of laughter, leaving audiences in anticipation of what these stepsisters would do next. Whether it was getting ready for the ball by trying on new clothes or flirting with the Dancing Master when practicing their waltzes, the pair was sure to gain giggles, even a delayed kiddie giggle breaking the silence and the seriousness of it all. And these two were serious; in all their silliness, they were very, very serious. Their moves were delivered with great distinction and conviction, never getting lost in any sloppy or hurried silliness, thus making the punch line that much more effective.
But lest the audience forget, Ashton was certain to include such beautiful dancing. Hee Seo exemplified that through her most exquisite and elegant portrayal of Cinderella. The opposite of her stepsisters, Cinderella was poised yet carefree, even taking time in between perfect little bourrées and gorgeous extensions to mock them. Ms. Seo was marvelous; from her beautifully arched feet to her light-as-a-feather pointe work, she is a master of her art, what one can only hope young ballerinas aspire to be.