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I saw the July 17th evening performance of "Cinderella". I don't have a lot of time, so I'll briefly mention that I really enjoyed it. I had only seen the Ben Stevenson production of "Cinderella" which I found extremely forgettable, so seeing the Ashton "Cinderella" was quite a treat. I found Tamara Rojo to be an exquisitely beautiful Cinderella, with great musicality. Inaki Urlezaga as the Prince

was a good partner, but an insecure solo dancer. In my view, however, the ugly

Stepsisters (danced by Anthony Dowell and Wayne Sleep) really stole the show. They even stayed in characer during their bows. I heard people complaining about the new costumes and sets during the intermissions, but having never seen the ballet before, they seemed fine to me. The choreography was just wonderful, as was the Prokofiev music. I would really like to see this ballet on a regular basis, and as the Royal Ballet doesn't come to New York very often, maybe ABT can change to the Ashton "Cinderella". (I saw Kevin McKenzie at the other end of my row. I don't see how he could help but be impressed by this ballet.) Ashton's "Cinderella" is a wonderful fairytale ballet, and I think ABT would benefit by dropping the mediocre Stevenson "Cinderella" and doing the Ashton version instead.

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I saw the Friday perf. with Alina C./Johan K. They were great, esp. her. Her ability

to have each phrase of danse clearly defined...even with each note of music, was truly awe inspiring to me. She also has the most wonderfully arched back in arabesque, I have seen in a ballerina in the past 10 years. The strength of this partnership is that they gel into one being!!!!!!!!

I wish everyone could see this version of Cinderella, esp. the 2nd Act!!!! :)

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Wayne Sleep and Sir Anthony Dowell performed the ugly sisters during the New York run. It was magical. Sleeps varitation was interrupted several times with him apparently forgetting and having to ask Dowell what came next. It was sweet and funny. It really was reminiscent of the Helpman, Ashton partnership and the production was so beautifully danced in the style of delicacy and attention to line and port de bras. Sets were a bit clunky and the NY crew seemed to be struggling to get them on and off the stage, but the understanding and sensitivity to the music by the dancers really made the score (which is not my personal favorite) blend seamlessly with the choreography. I have a new understanding and appreciation of the music after seeing this production.

Alina Cojocaru made the role her own and had the sensitivity and delicacy of Sibley that we really dont see that much these days with the athleticism now so prevalent in classical ballet especially in the US. Johan Kobborg did not thrill me as the Prince. Technically he was very strong, his partnering was superb, but emotionally it was pretty shallow IMHOP.

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I heard people complaining about the new costumes and sets during the intermissions, but having never seen the ballet before, they seemed fine to me.

I haven't seen the new production, but by comparing photographs of the current production and what I see on the 1969 recording, the only problem I have with the new costumes are the Stepsisters costumes. Do they have to be so blatantly ridiculous with seashell and fish patterns and feathers glued to them? Everything else, however, looks lovely. I especially love the new rags dress and act II Cinderella tutu.

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