Review: Maine State Ballet Revives the Magic of CINDERELLA

Company creates elegant enchantment with their spring production

By: Mar. 31, 2024
Review: Maine State Ballet Revives the Magic of CINDERELLA
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Maine State Ballet revives one of its favorite classics, CINDERELLA, in an elegant and ageless production with the choreography of Linda MacArthur Miele and the design wizardry of Gail Csoboth.  The production, grounded in the Balanchine tradition in which Miele was nurtured, is eloquent in its disarming simplicity of narrative and timeless traditionalism of its dance.  Set to Serge Prokofiev’s stirring score, Miele’s eighty minutes of dance offers an afternoon of enchantment.

Miele’s choreography offers a combination of forthright narrative, solos carefully tailored to the individual dancer’s strengths, and grand set pieces for the entire company.  Each act culminates in a complexly patterned, high energy ensemble piece, and it is exciting to watch the growing technical precision of the company in these ensembles. Csobeth’s painted drops evoke the drab reality of Cinderella’s daily existence and the fairytale world of hazy moonlight in which she meets her prince.  Csoboth’s costumes are lavish and glittering with a painterly sense of color, and her props like the gossamer pumpkin carriage are impressive.

Review: Maine State Ballet Revives the Magic of CINDERELLA Adrienne Pelletier makes a gentle, humble Cinderella who emerges from her dreary shell to blossom at the ball. Her strong technique, elegant arabesques, and fluidity of line make her a natural princess.  As Prince Charming, Arie Eiten brings a combination of noble line, virile partnering, and a dashing presence to the role. The pair executes some lovely lifts in their pas de deux and capture the romanticism of  their roles.

Rhiannon Pelletier sparkles as the Fairy Godmother, while Emma Davis makes a vibrant Spring Fairy in the excellent quartet that also includes Agnes Norman (Summer Fairy), Anna Cook (Autumn Fairy), and Jessica Bartlett. Eliot Konzal and Juliette Lauzier-Bridges play the boisterously maladroit Stepsisters with understated camp, while Glenn Davis proves an endearing charming and funny Jester.

Review: Maine State Ballet Revives the Magic of CINDERELLA The large ensemble proves cohesive and committed with Trevor Seymour as a haughty Dancing Master, Caleb Streadwick as a comic Master of Ceremonies, Rachel Paradis as a sprightly Princess of Spain, and Hannah Miele in an eye-catching turn as a Palace Page contributing some special moments.

It has been a while since this critic has had the opportunity to attend a Maine State Ballet production, and it was exciting to see how the company continues to grow artistically.  Miele challenges not only the principals and soloists, but also the corps de ballet with increasing difficult technical material, and the company’s joyful embrace of the challenge is delightful to watch!


Photos courtesy of Maine State Ballet

CINDERELLA runs from Mar22 -April 7, 2024 at Maine State Ballet’s Lopez Theater, 348 Route One, Falmouth, ME 207-781-7672