A season of Cinderella


Cinderella as seen in the ballet performed at Wilkins Theater on March 14th

By Gabrielle Gale Prendatt-Carter

The Russian National Ballet’s performed Cinderella at Wilkins Theatre on, March 14. There were two acts of ballet, choreographed by Rostislav Zakharov, with no dialogue, sixteen characters, and pre-recorded music by Sergei Prokofiev, playing in the background.

The costumes were aesthetically pleasing to the eyes, and the sets were kept simple, both made by Elisaveta Dvorkina.

Non-original characters included the Fairies of the Seasons Princesses; Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter, and the Ambassadors; Mauritanian, Spanish, Chinese, Russian, and The Time. These additional characters made the cast multicultural, and this version of Cinderella unique.

Rather than the ball being just a communal affair solely highlighting Cinderella’s soon-to-be prince, the ambassadors and seasonal princesses dressed in ball attire, appropriate to their cultures and seasons, which made this rendition of Cinderella very diverse.

Unlike the often-told version of the fairytale, Cinderella’s father was not deceased in this production.

Watching the ballet left much to the imagination due to the fact that there was no dialogue and limited sets, which left more room for the audience to embrace a romantic Pas de Deux by Cinderella and her prince, and beautiful costumes, rather than be distracted by an elaborate scenery.

Meanwhile, Walt Disney Picture’s 2015 non-traditional, live-action version, starring Lily James as Cinderella, is the #1 movie at the box office since its release on March 13th.

Directed by Kenneth Branagh and a screenplay written by Chris Weitz, Cate Blanchett stars as the evil stepmother, and Richard Madden as the prince.

According to the research group, Entgroup, Cinderella accumulated $53.45 million in ticket sales the first 10 days in China, which is the world’s second biggest film market.

Renamed Ella, “Cinderella is no damsel-in-distress- and no shrinking violet,” according to Jonathan Olley of news website The Daily Beast.

“Branagh’s Cinderella hasn’t contributed to the ‘princess craze’ or furthered the ‘girlie-girl culture’,” said Olley.

Although Disney princesses such as Snow White and Sleeping Beauty await their charming princes to rescue them from their probable dark fate, this modernized version of Cinderella places this princess on a different plateau with sass, independence, and morality. In the parting words of her deceased mother, Ella stresses to “have courage and be kind.”


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