Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
(Steve Griffin | The Salt Lake Tribune) Ballet West dancers perform "Cinderella" at dress rehearsal on Feb. 13, 2013.
Ballet West review: ‘Cinderella’ fresh with new choreography
Review » Ballet West’s new production relies on the steps — and the Ugly Stepsisters — in its reinvention of the age-old story.
First Published Feb 15 2013 01:12 pm • Last Updated May 21 2013 11:33 pm

Arolyn Williams will steal your heart as Cinderella in the biggest little ballet ever produced by Ballet West.

Although the cast exceeds 30 dancers on stage at times, it’s the details that make this ballet so rich warmed by well-wrought characters. Sir Frederick Ashton’s very English blend of lyrical classicism and modernity give us a "Cinderella" that’s theatrical, refined and inventive.

At a glance

Ballet West’s ‘Cinderella’

A beautiful and complex look at the age-old fairytale of Cinderella.

Where » Capitol Theatre, 50 W. 200 South, Salt Lake City

When » Reviewed Thursday, Feb. 14; repeats Saturday and Sunday and Feb. 20-23 at 7:30; 2 p.m. matinee Saturday, Feb. 23.

Running time » Three hours, with two intermissions.

Tickets » $19-$75, at 801-355-2787, arttix.org or Capitol Theatre box office.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Ashton choreographed the ballet to Prokofiev’s Cinderella Ballet, Op. 87. The composer began the work as the Germans invaded Russia, and finished it in the mid-1940s under the rigid artistic restrictions of the Soviet Communist party.

In the United States, we consider "Cinderella" a simple rags-to-riches story. But in Prokofiev’s composition, the Ugly Stepsisters personify the ostentatious ruling class, and Cinderella is a hero who saves the Prince from an unfilled life as an Imperialist.

Ashton’s choreography embraces the depth and despair Prokofiev felt as he toiled in exile under constructs of political limitations. But the choreography Ashton produced to the sometimes mordant score broke from strict classical tradition and is filled with individual experimentation.

Each of the three acts in the ballet builds slowly, and for present-day American audiences, the drama is more like an episode of "Downton Abbey" than "CSI Miami." The audience gets to know the Ugly Stepsisters as two very specific personalities, whose sibling rivalry is obsessive and crueler between them than toward Cinderella. Dancers Chris Ruud and Easton Smith don’t over reach as the Uglies, but rather bring a touch of the surreal to the already Dali-esque quality of their characters.

The elegant ballet builds tension through the sense of fleeting time that defines its well-known plot. As the clock nears midnight, the Fairies of the Four Seasons and the Twelve Fairies of the Hours mark the precious moments closing in on Cinderella. Dancer Jacqueline Straughan as The Fairy Autumn articulated the movement so beautifully through her legs and feet, her dancing an example of what sets Ashton’s choreography apart from less-eloquent techniques.

The Prince’s Friends, particularly dancers Christopher Anderson and Adrian Fry, landed tours into pirouettes with clarity and ease.

The children in the production blended so well with the company that they only stood out due to their adorable faces.

Dancer Thomas Mattingly was his usual reliable and charming self as the Prince, steady and selfless, as always, in his partnering and sustained quadruple pirouettes.


story continues below
story continues below

Guest conductor Adam Flatt did an excellent job leading the Utah Chamber Orchestra in Prokofiev’s difficult and soaring score.

The Ashton choreography tilts dancers off center while they remain on pointe. It requires dancers to change directions while looking the opposite way, and creates intricate hypnotic patterns.

But mostly, Ashton’s choreography doesn’t tell a story. Rather, it portrays characters and develops narrative that unfolds theatricality, while inviting the audience to experience the story for the first time — even one as familiar as Cinderella.

features@sltrib.com



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Login to the Electronic Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.