Today, Nov.2, the Sacramento Ballet held a matinee performance of the classic fairytale “Cinderella,” only one week after the 2013-14 season opener of “Rubies," “The Firebird,” and “The Rite of Spring.”
Artistic Director, Ron Cunningham, originally created the “Cinderella” ballet for the Boston Ballet in 1976 - the tale of the kindhearted Cinderella who is relegated to do household chores while her stepsisters prepared for the Royal Ball.
Cunningham's remarkable ability to tell a story through movement – dance, is escalated by the abilities of the illustrious dancers of the world renowned Sacramento Ballet.
The poised and lissome Alexandra Cunningham was the perfect fit for the lead role “Cinderella.” Only a dancer of Cunningham's caliber could pull off a “pax de deux” with a broom, moving with grace and elegance.
Each time the evil stepsisters (Richard Smith and Rex Wheeler) appeared on stage hilarity ensued. Their routine appeared to be well rehearsed with plenty of ad lib sprinkled throughout. Richard Porter, a well trained classical ballet dancer added more laughs as he attempted to give the stepsisters “dance lessons” before finally giving up.
As the second act began Christopher Nachtrab as the Jester boosted the crowd's enjoyment with his vibrant non-stop action. Nachtrab, a seasoned professional lit up the stage as always with his powerful vibrant stage presence and perfectly executed dance moves.
And of course Stefan Calka, as the Prince is remarkable. Calka always appears confident and surefooted and today, his strides were as smooth as silk. His interest was apparent – Cinderella was meant for him, but as the fairytale goes, the clock struck midnight and a spell is cast over the Prince.
Act III finds the Prince awake and distraught over his lost love. Of course, you probably know the rest of the story, but you will not want to miss Ron Cunningham's version as he goes all out with the royal wedding!
The costumes were splendid and as the artistic director explained after the show – The costumes are the original ones designed for the Boston Ballet more than three decades ago and have toured many cities and countries including the Peoples' Republic of China.. Additionally, the lighting and set design is world class excellent.
"Cinderella" was delivered flawlessly; the cast awarded by the audience with a full two minute standing ovation.
Today's matinee performance will be followed by two other performances – one evening and another matinee on Sunday, Nov. 3. This "Cinderella" is definitely worth seeing! It is the perfect fit for any age!
Purchase tickets here or at the Community Center Box Office.
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