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Mikhailovsky Theatre's production--the original?


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I was lucky enough to see Mikhailovesky Theatre's production of Cinderella when I was on my business trip a while back.  I found it extremely impressive.  I was wondering if anyone has recollections of the original Bolshoi production from Zakharov, or Sergeyev's rival production. 

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Yes, I will link you to their web page for the production.  I will say that a lot of it at least reminded me of the old Bolshoi edited film version of the show--the look of it, but also some choreography details (Cinderella being courted by princes from different kingdoms--sound familiar?--at the ball, before the prince comes, the guests coming in and out of the ball...) 

I have to warn you that I'm still rather a novice when it comes to dancers--when I read reviews of ballets or of ballet on DVD, and someone says "Well of course it's "..." so she must be great" I have little knowledge of who people mean.  I know the greats I grew up seeing either live or more often on TV--but few of them are dancing anymore, so I am of little help there.

But the actual choreography and production of ballets, does deeply interest me.

Victor Lebedev was the Prince--and I know this because my companion was excited to see it because of him (he did impressed me greatly--more in his solos, where I felt he and the choreography matched the demanding score perfectly, than in the partnering which had a LOT of lifts that were impressive, but lacked a bit of emotion).  I'm not sure who Cinderella was as I don't have my program, but, the performance was late last year.  I thought the production was beautiful, with a few caveats.  For the most part, I thought the projections and digital effects only added the the magic.  However, in the scenes with the fairies of the seasons, the transitions of the seasons, while beautiful, somewhat got in the way of the dancing itself.  Similarly, I felt during the ball in Act II (which was the best ball scene I've ever seen in a Cinderella ballet), the constant need for the night sky in the background to flash little "fairy lights" of magic, was a bit distracting.  And something that I could see my mother finding completely distracting.  Happily, they kept most of the effects away from the big dance highlights--and I really think the staging of the ball, and all of its transitions, is masterful.  It has some of the, what I call, over the top mid 20th C Bolshoin jumps and lifts, but they really felt earned by the romance between the two main dancers, and there was a constant feel of Cinderella not wanting to believe that this was real and running away.

One of the big "effects" sequences, with the booming Prokofiev "clock theme" when Cinderella realizes she's cut it short, was really well done with a scrim and projections--and made me wonder how the Bolshoi originally did it back in 1945.  Similarly effective was the sequence of the Prince searching the world for the woman who would fit a shoe--a sequence I always hate being cut from the standard Ashton version (it's a short ballet, anyway!).

Overall, I am sure you can read better takes on the production elsewhere on here.  There is one official video on online but it's by the people who do the effects and so focuses on that, but is easy to find. 

I am just curious from people who remember the original Bolshoi version (or even the alternate version done a year later for the Kirov by K Surgeyev) as to how the actual "look" and the choreography compared.  For me?  Out of 6 Cinderellas that I've seen, it was the best.  That may have to do more with the dancers than the production, but I think sometimes it's best to treat these pieces in a relatively traditional (though exciting) way.

Oh, I forgot the link--which has images and the promo video.  (As well--it has reviews that, of course, are positive, but mention its similarity to the original staging.  Yet, none of the people who reviewed it seem to have seen that staging, which is why I ask...)  When watching the trailer now, unless things have changed, I will say that the special effects were neither that elaborate, nor as intrusive as they seem there (though the fireworks scene was very well done)  https://mikhailovsky.ru/en/afisha/repertoire/cinderella_ballet/# 

Edited by EricMontreal
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