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#5 - Narratively deficient?


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Susan...that's a classic; I'm going to laugh over that one for days!

I mentioned in another thread that in this production the step mother has died. That changes the entire relationship between Cinderella, her father, and the step sisters. The step mother is the only reason for the meanness of the story; without her either the Dad is an ogre (and he definitely isn't in Ashton's version) or the step sisters wield clout (which seems questionable, given their daffiness).

However, it's a fairy tale and logic is not required.

Giannina

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My answer would be possibly. I find the final act a bit short, probably due to Ashton's decision not to include the Prince's worldwide tour in search of the slipper's owner. I imagine he simply didn't care for the music, which isn't vintage Prokofiev and which suggests an element of comedy that wouldn't have fitted Ashton's concept of the ballet as (apart from the ugly sisters) Cinderella inhabits a rather sad, elegiac world with just her unhappy father for company. The Prince also can’t be a very happy chap as he’s clearly an orphan with no king or queen around to oversee their son’s choice of bride; even his jester is melancholy. I imagine the omitted last act music would have destroyed that mood.

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I agree with Giannina that in a fairy story logic is not required -- there has to be an internal logic (we have to believe that serving three oranges of different sizes to guests as the ONLY refreshment (and only to three guests!) is de rigeur in this kingdom!) But I think sometimes people expect the Rules of Realism to apply -- that the shoe that Cinderella drops must be REAL, and the same shoe that she has been dancing in -- and I think that would be as out of place here as fairies would be in "Fancy Free." They're different worlds.

I think it's narratively coherent and not deficient. Mashinka, Vaughan writes that Ashton didn't use the Prince's Journey music because, I'm paraphrasing, "I didn't like the music and didn't much care for the places the Prince went" -- so your hunch was a good one. I think, too, that although it would have provided a good opportunity for a suite of character dances, there was was enough caractere work with the Stepsisters; dramatically, you really don't need it. We know the Prince has been looking for a long time.

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