Morgann Rose, Ji Young Chae, Emily Ellis, and Aurora Dickie in Cinderella, Washington Ballet (photo by Brianne Bland)
What is to prevent a ballet company from replicating its December cash cow, The Nutcracker, in the spring season? The Washington Ballet could just about make it work with its pastel-pink production of Prokofiev's Cinderella (created in 2003, last revived in 2008), made for little girls, which we saw on Friday night at the Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater. Septime Webre's choreography even recycles some of the vignettes from his Nutcracker, including little kids as adorable butt-shaking bees and sweet snow angels. It is a traditional, wedding-cake kind of staging -- far from the updating of Alexei Ratmansky, the art deco vision of American Ballet Theater, or the mise-en-abyme staging of Yuri Possokhov for the Bolshoi -- but with enough wit and charm, and pleasing dancing, to keep adults engaged. Its smaller scale and use of recorded music -- the lovely performance by André Previn and the London Symphony Orchestra (EMI) -- might draw a negative comparison to the Russian National Ballet's touring version, but the evening is packed with laughs and sweetness.
Prokofiev, Cinderella, London Symphony Orchestra, A. Previn (EMI)
Sarah Kaufman, Washington Ballet’s ‘Cinderella’ enchants with humor and splendid dancing (Washington Post, March 23)
This production will be repeated today and tomorrow (March 23 and 24), in the Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater.