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Birmingham Royal Ballet's Cinderella

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This is just a quick with review of the performance that I saw last night at the London Collesium. I should add that I am quite new to the ballet world so this review may be a bit superficial. Cinderella was played by Nao Sakuma and the Prince by Matthew Lawrence on this occasion.

The first thing I have to praise about this performance is the set design. It is by turns grim, realistic, magical and elaborate. The entire first act is set in Cinderella's kitchen and despite being very grim it is very well done. It has an air of solidity and depth to it, plus the fire is put to very good use during the Fairy God Mother's entrance. The ball room during the second act is again well done but the stand out moment is when midnight arrives and a giant clock suddenly dominates the back ground complete with moving gears. much of the very short last act was again set in the kitchen but the last pas de deux was set in a lovely cloudscape that really complemented the romance.

The music was beautifully played and Prokofiev's score mostly complemented the gothic bits of the fairy tale very well. My only criticism was that occasionally the fairly militaristic undertone of the music did not sit comfortably with the more romantic scenes.

As to the performers themselves I should stress that I have not seen much live ballet so I was not really watching with the technical eye of a seasoned ballet goer. I had been to see Vadim Muntagirov as Siegfried in Swan Lake (ENO) the week before and was entirely bowled over by his grace and lightness. I did not get any similarly strong feeling with the two principles this time around but then again the Prince has a relatively small and one dimensional role in this particular ballet. What did impress me was the comic timing of the ugly sisters and the various men folk that they lavish their affections upon. Much of the second act was taken up with them dancing egregiously with various guests at the ball and it must have taken some talent to make bad dancing look so effective. Indeed what really struck me about this whole ballet was how amusing it was. It was a very plot heavy ballet and I have the feeling that those who really want a technical dancing showcase would not like it. There is a lot of fairly sophisticated story points which are very affecting and well acted.

I absolutely loved this production and I would urge anyone who can to go and see it!

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I wasn't sure about this ballet, to be honest. Whilst very entertaining, it was rather more of a pantomime to me and I feel that the comic elements of the ugly sisters wwas overplayed. on the other hand, I loved the naivety of the bare foot cinders and the pathos that that created.

I thought the choreography was actually very simple but at times too busy. the stars seemed to get in the way of ach other and I found it hard to discern the patterns. Similarly, the ballroom scene was too overcrowded for me and seemed a little superfluous in many respects, or at least too long.

I too would have like dto have seen more of a connection between cinders and her prince!

I loved the newts and the little mice - what sweeties - and the sets were stunning, especially the clock!

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