BWW Review: Happily Ever After: Maine State Ballet's CINDERELLA
An afternoon at the Maine State Ballet's production of Cinderella is an opportunity to revel in a lovely fantasy tale told in exquisite choreography. The revival of Prokofiev's ballet with choreography by Linda MacArthur Miele is opulent to look at and offers moments of dazzling dance.
Miele's staging follows tradition with a first act that is heavily reliant on mime and the subsequent two acts are opportunities to showcase the company's best dancers. If anything, the cohesiveness of the ensemble appears to have grown since this production first debuted several years ago, and the big company numbers have greater precision and integral harmony especially among the corps de ballet.Gail Csoboth creates the three lovely drops and the colorful costumes, while Frederick Bernier provides the fairytale lighting and supervises the sound, allowing Prokofiev's glorious score, although recorded-not live, to be heard in all its lushness.
Rhiannon Pelletier (March 30) makes a winsome Cinderella, all doe-eyed and forlorn in the first act, gradually emerging as an elegant true-born princess. She possesses a lyricism that serves her especially well in the second act in her pas de deuxwith the Prince, and she shows off her remarkable arabesques to great advantage. Michael Hamilton (March 30) is an elegant Prince Charming; he is a sympathetic partner and a polished soloist who brings the requisite nobility to the role.
Julia Lopez is a sparkling Fairy Godmother who shines especially in the first act surrounded by her excellent quartet of fairies, Emma Davis, Sadie Schwartz, Kellee Gallant, and Kendra Murray. Other outstanding moments are provided by Adrienne Pelletier and Airie Eiten as the Princess and Prince of Persia; Pelletier dazzles with her extension, fluidity, and virtuosity, and Eiten makes a crisp, virile partner with impressive ballon.
The comic roles are well cast - and never overplayed. Christine Louise Marshall is delightfully overbearing as the Stepmother, while Eliot Konzal and Juliette Lauzier-Bridges make perfect foils as the silly sisters. Robert Forleo is a lithe and witty Jester, and Jonathan Miele does a lively turn as the Dancing Master.
It is a pleasure to revisit this production of Cinderella and see the growth in the company and in individual artists. There is a lively, warm, positive spirit in everything this company does!
Photos courtesy Maine State Ballet
Cinderella runs from March 22- April 7, 2019 at the Maine State Ballet's Lopez Theater, 348 U.S. Route One, Falmouth, ME 207-781-7672 mainestateballet.org