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Ballet “Cinderella” in two acts by Sergey Prokofiev.
World premiere on November 21, 1945 Bolshoi Theatre.
Premiere at the Estonian National Opera on November 16, 2012.
Choreographer-Stage Director: Marina Kesler.
Conductors: Jüri Alperten, Vello Pähn.
Set Designer: Liisi Eelmaa.
Costume Designer: Gerly Tinn.
It was a bit crisp sunny afternoon on November 1, when I entered Estonian National Opera to see the ballet “Cinderella”. The ballet uses Sergey Prokofiev’s score, which premiered at Moscow Bolshoi Theatre in 1945. The version at Estonian National Opera is much more contemporary and is aimed at viewers of all ages. There were many children, youngsters, cultural figures among the audience members, and a lot of foreign languages could be detected. The ballet incorporated several contemporary elements ranging from a modern stage design, the characters’ costumes to impressive visual effects and more highlighted dance movements. To keep the viewers engaged, the show featured many surprises and even funny moments, which earned bouts of laughter from the audience.
It was a completely new experience to watch the story of Cinderella unravel through dance. The music was powerful and the choreography was right at its heels. The way the evil stepmother’s and step sisters’ characters were highlighted with modern movements was exceptional. The angular and abrupt gestures communicated to the audience that these characters do not have good intentions. The development of their characters was completed in the make-up and costumes, bringing forth their true nature. Cinderella acted as a big contrast to them; her appearance and dancing manner were at least in the beginning meek, not to say despairing. The choreography managed to reveal her modesty and humility, but as the story progressed more power, courage and feistiness were introduced into her movements. When she glided into the hall with the Prince their love for each other was obvious. Cinderella’s wishes and dreams, and that they were about to come true in the ballroom dancing with the Prince, were crystal clear. The Prince’s character was idealistic, defiant towards the rules. He was only interested in true and meaningful love and was prepared to do anything for it. When he was dancing with Cinderella nothing else mattered, and when he lost her, he was completely crushed. He suffered until their reunion, which was sincere and filled with much joy. It was very exciting to watch these characters going through the choreography created for them, which made them very sympathetic to the audience. The final scenes of the fairy-tale made me sincerely believe in the undying love of these two. The spirited and a bit mischievous character and intentions of the Fairy Godmother were also memorable as well as the way it was choreographed.
Although the show used a lot of colour and was very rich visually, it did not take anything away from the content. The set design supported the story, making it possible to attract a diverse audience. The viewers enjoyed themselves and some were moved to tears.
Life isn’t always easy and things don’t always go the way we would like them to. But if you have a purpose, a true and earnest yearning that fills your heart, it will come true. You just have to believe in it and strive towards it, forgetting everything else, living and acting in the name of it. Dreams can come true, but you have to believe in them and not let other people bring you down or ridicule them. And you mustn’t give up in the face of obstacles, because obstacles are the true beginning and foundation of real success. It is like that with every kind of dream. Whether it is about love, work, traveling, hobbies or something else. You must believe in dreams and strive towards them.
All in all the makers of the show should be very pleased with themselves for putting on this show.