Cinderella is cruelly treated by her stepmother and stepsisters. But her kindly Fairy Godmother offers an opportunity to escape to a ball at the palace, where Cinderella meets her Prince.
Alexei Ratmansky was just beginning his career as a choreographer when the Mariinsky Ballet commissioned a full-length narrative ballet from him in 2002. The premiere of Cinderella on 5 March 2002 launched Ratmansky onto the world stage. In Cinderella Ratmansky weaves together a magnificent array of different styles, interpreted through virtuoso classical language. The result is a fresh, witty and sardonic account of the classic fairytale, and a brilliant response to the bittersweet elements of Prokofiev's much-loved score.
The contemporary edge of Ratmansky's choreography is confirmed by spectacular designs from Ilya Utkin and Yeveny Monakhov (sets) and Elena Markovskaya (costumes). Together with Ratmansky they create a world where Cinderella, originally created on Diana Vishneva, becomes a lonely dreamer and her stepmother a vicious, tantrum-prone social climber. Ratmansky's innovative choreography – lyrical and grotesque, fantastical and wry – builds to a pas de deux of aching beauty and tenderness between Cinderella and her Prince.
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