A review of American Ballet Theatre
in 'Cinderella' by Marina Harss in The Faster Times.
It doesn’t help that Kudelka seems to have trouble telling the story. Instead of clear mime or well-constructed episodes leading up to the main event–the ball–we get busy to-ing and fro-ing, the meaning of which the audience is left to fill in from memory. When does the invitation to the ball actually arrive? Unclear. Nevertheless, the two stepsisters engage in cartoonish slapstick, prancing about, making faces, and contorting their bodies into garish, and strangely humorless, poses. The step-mother wanders in and out, tippling without interruption. Instead of fairies sent to prepare Cinderella for the ball, we get “creatures from the garden” who go by the name of Twig, Blossom, Moss, and Petal, dancing fussy but non-descript variations that reveal almost nothing about their individual qualities or their gifts to Cinderella. (One of them comes bearing a pair of toe-shoes for our heroine, a relief.)...