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Review: Colorado Ballet's Cinderella misses more than midnight in Denver

Cinderella

Rating:
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Colorado Ballet’s Cinderella opened on Valentine’s Day at The Ellie Caulkins Opera House in downtown Denver.

Maria Mosina and Alexei Tyukov in Cinderella,
Mike Watson

Because everyone is familiar with the beloved children’s fairy tale, the storyline of the full-length ballet is easy to follow. All its family drama, magical moments, humor, romance and happy-ever-after ending adhere fairly closely to the popular version of Charles Perrault’s book published in 1697 (there are more than 3,000 interpretations of Cinderella throughout the world).

While Perrault’s story is engaging and inspiring, Ben Stevenson’s choreography is not. One waits and waits for the showstopping moments that typically showcase Colorado Ballet. They never come. Instead, the audience is left with dance that is so ordinary it’s hard to believe it comes from the 53-year-old professional ballet company that gave us the sensual Dracula, the exquisite Swan Lake and the gorgeous Giselle. Even the corps de ballet are out of sync in the pretty-in-pink waltz at the ball. To add insult to injury, the slapstick silliness of the stepsisters in drag (Kevin Wilson and Jesse Marks) take up way too much stage time for a classic ballet. A little comic relief goes a long way.

Maria Mosina as a delightfully demure Cinderella and Alexei Tyukov as the handsome Prince are lovely to watch, as always, but their immense talents are limited by the choreography. A high point is Cinderella’s grand entrance en pointe to the ball after her transformation, a regal performance in contrast to her sweet girlish twirl with the broom as the cinder girl.

Spectacular sets and costumes borrowed from the Texas Ballet Theatre (the carriage horses will amaze you) and a spirited solo by Kevin Gael Thomas as The Jester save this ballet from complete commonplace. The reoccurring Cinderella Waltz is a hauntingly beautiful melody from Prokofiev’s otherwise unmemorable score played by the Colorado Ballet Orchestra.

The full-length ballet is performed in three acts, with two intermissions for a total of two hours, 25 minutes. If your children can sit that long, they likely will enjoy it.

Cinderella continues at The Ellie Caulkins Opera House through February 23. Performances are February 20, 6:30 p.m.; February 21, 7:30 p.m.; February 22, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; and February 23, 2 p.m.

To buy tickets, call 303-837-8888 ext. 2 or visit www.ColoradoBallet.org.