When Rudolf Nureyev asked set designer Petrika Ionesco to work on his forthcoming ballet, he did not expect him to give such an innovative arrangement of Perrault's or Petipa's Cinderella. Still, after a hostile reaction, the choreographer was seduced by the idea. Because in essence, the "topic" was preserved, although modernized. A young woman is victimized by a morbid family, and her only wish is to escape the oppressive world in which she lives. One day, her kindness is rewarded: while she runs to help a person who needs help, she changes her destiny forever. This character, who embodies the fairy in Perrault's tale, is a Hollywood producer... And this is how Nureyev turns the film star into a modern prince charming.
This refreshing version of Cinderella has featured in the repertoire of the Paris Opera Ballet since its creation in 1986. This arrangement of Perrault's tale, whether tragic or grotesque, presents great difficulties for the dancers. They must display great qualities in acting (for instance Stéphane Phavorin playing the part of the mother), but also rare technical skills, like Cinderella (Agnès Letestu) who has to be very comfortable with the technique of pointes, as well as tap-dance, and ballroom dancing in high heels (Act II)!
Pictures: Agnès Letestu, Laetitia Pujol and Stéphanie Romberg in Cinderella © Bartolucci | Agnès Letestu as Cinderella © David Elofer
Symphony Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theater – The complete Prokofiev symphonies. Moscow Easter Festival
Marius Petipa – Alina Cojocaru (Princess Aurora), Federico Bonelli (Prince Florimund), Christopher Saunders (King Florestan XXIV) – The Royal Ballet
Vladimir Jurowski, Peter Hall – Maxim Mironov (Don Ramiro), Ruxandra Donose (Cenerentola) – Glyndebourne Festival