RAPTUROUSLY received by the youngsters in the audience, many of whom rivalled the cast in their own fairytale frocks, Cinderella is a wonderful way to end the WA Ballet’s outstanding and varied year.
Flashbacks in the Prologue and part of Act 1 reverted to the death of Cinderella’s mother some 10 years before and her father’s acquisition of a new wife and two stepdaughters.
Father (Yusuke Hikichi) seems unable to improve the situation of his daughter, treated as a kitchen slave by her new relatives.
Though she finds comfort in dance with her broom and her beautiful bird cage, with its imaginary birds, Faith, Hope and Charity, Cinderella, beautifully portrayed by Brooke Widdison-Jacobs will find it hard to find happiness.
Excitement fills the air as an invitation arrives for her stepmother (Polly Hilton) and stepsisters (Sarah Hepburn and Melissa Boniface), to attend the ball at which Prince Charming (Matthew Lehmann) is expected to choose a wife.
Upon the departure of the feuding sisters and their domineering mother, Cinders sits alone with her broom and birdcage when suddenly her fairy godmother (Florence Leroux-Coleno), accompanied by sprites and elves, appears complete with gorgeous frock, slippers and glittering coach for her to go incognito to the ball.
Neither Prince Charming nor his two princely brothers (Sergy Pevnev and Andre Santos) are overly attracted by the young ladies flaunting their attributes, until the gentle and lovely unknown Cinderella appears and he makes his choice.
Spectacular lifts, ensemble, solo, duet and smaller group dance is a feature of the ball scene.
Forgetful of her warning that the spell would end at midnight, in her haste Cinderella loses her slipper. She returns on schedule to her kitchen and the vitriol of her stepmother and ugly sisters.
Meanwhile, Prince Charming commences a fruitless search for his everlasting love – the owner of the slipper.
There are hilarious moments as the ugly sisters try to stuff their ungainly feet into the identifying slipper.
Gone are the days of gorgeous ballerinas whose concentration was only on their own beauty and that of their dance.
Pavlova would be horrified at the ugliness of facial expressions and actions of the stepmother and her daughters.
The realism however, does nothing to detract from the excellent quality of dance exhibited.
Directed by team Delasalle-Scanella and Lord-Sole, Cinderella is choreographed by our own Jayne Smeulders to the immortal music of Prokofiev.
Michael Collins conducts the WA Philharmonic Orchestra in this thoroughly delightful presentation, thrilling alike youngsters and their elders.
– Odna Borlaug.
WHERE: His Majesty’s Theatre, Perth.
WHEN: Until December 13.