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Cinderella - Israel Ballet


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#1 GWTW

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Posted 03 January 2009 - 02:21 PM

On Saturday, December 27, I saw a matinee performance of Berta Yampolsky's Cinderella in Tel Aviv. It was great entertainment for Channuka - and it is probably better than 90% of the commercial musical theatre 'festivals' that most parents feel obliged to take their children to see - but it isn't a production I would really recommend for a sophisticated audience.
The ballet stays close to the traditional story of Cinderella and is very easy to follow, as the mime was well directed and very clear. There are some original touches like a beggar woman who comes to Cinderella's house, gets thrown out by the stepmother and stepsisters and Cinderella then comforts her. The beggar woman afterwards turns into the fairy godmother (a vivacious Rieka Suzuki).
In terms of production values, the backdrops and especially the costumes, designed by Lydia Pinkus-Gani, are beautiful and ingenious (like the coloured slipover covers for the ugly sisters' pointeshoes which they put on and off).
So what was missing? The dancing just wasn't exciting enough. This is partly due to the choreography and partly due to the dancers themselves. The dancers all seemed very capable, and the corps scenes in particular were charming, but the ambience was rather academic and bland. I like more oomph, more speed, more daring (Good lord, I've become Americanised!!!)
Where the choreography was really lacking was in dancing for Cinderella. There was no big solo for her in the first act, nor was there a big pas de deux in Act 2. The result was that the role of Cinderella had no real depth.
I'll be interested to see how the Israel Ballet will perform on a programme that is less oriented towards a young/holiday audience.

#2 carbro

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Posted 03 January 2009 - 09:52 PM

Great to hear from you, GWTW! It's been a long time.

And thanks for reviewing a company we hear so very little about!

#3 EricMontreal22

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Posted 02 February 2009 - 07:08 PM

The ballet stays close to the traditional story of Cinderella and is very easy to follow, as the mime was well directed and very clear. There are some original touches like a beggar woman who comes to Cinderella's house, gets thrown out by the stepmother and stepsisters and Cinderella then comforts her. The beggar woman afterwards turns into the fairy godmother (a vivacious Rieka Suzuki).


Great review!

I just wanted to point out that this plot element was in the original libtretto for Prokofiev, and was used I believe in both the original 1945 (and later filmed) Bolshoi production by Rostislav Zakharov, and the 1946 K Sergeyev production (which I find so charming and wish was still being done). I actually forgot that it's not done in most other productions...


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