Banner photo for the post

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.
Estonian National Opera has brought to stage the ballet “Cinderella” to Sergei Prokofiev’s music. Much like Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s famous “The Little Prince”, the ballet show is suitable for preschoolers coming to see a beautiful fairy-tale as well as adults interested in the hidden meaning behind the symbols seen on the stage. It is impossible to notice every little detail during one visit but you start to see more as you keep coming back.
The fairy-tale familiar from books has become a fashionably edgy and trendy ballet performance incorporating video effects. It makes use of heavy colours and occasionally provocative costumes, which raises the question if children are the show’s real target group. In contrast to the stepsisters’ fashion model like appearance and bold stage design there is also a bubble world with butterflies surrounded by gentle pink foam.
The ballet is full of contrasts and has many surprises in store. To relay emotions the action is often over-dramatized and the dancers dance on a full foot. The Stepmother with her daughters dominate the show – their energetic and angular movements contrast with the King and Queen who move more slowly and gracefully.
At one point it becomes difficult to take everything in that is happening because the stage becomes crowded with dancers, every group expressing a different emotion or activity. Focusing on the protagonists you forget about the background dancers and vice versa, not to mention the level of attention the costumes and sets demand, at times overshadowing the characters.
The stage decorations are imposing, featuring extraordinary elements. For example the scene when Cinderella’s world crumbles at midnight – this is expressed by a pillar falling down at every strike of the clock. A memorable effect is created by using stretches of fabric falling down from the sealing, landing on the floor with chairs attached to them. And then there was the clock made from human bodies.
Originally a three act piece, the ballet has now only two, which is a good idea from the perspective of the younger members of the audience. It is also wise to contemporize the ballet to allure kids to come to the theatre to learn about ballet. Overall, “Cinderella” is a balanced and diverse production where the risks taken with decoration and design actually paid off.