Jean-Christophe Maillot's Cinderella explores the parallel universes of artifice and simplicity and reflects on how loss can shape the direction of a life. The "choreographed film" features the artists of the Ballets of Monte Carlo dancing to Prokofiev's score, which is magnificently interpreted by the Cleveland Orchestra under the baton of Vladimir Ashkenazy.
In the dedication of his Cinderella, Prokofiev wrote, "I see Cinderella not only as a character from fairytales, but also as a real flesh-and-blood person who feels and lives among us." Jean-Christophe Maillot's choreography for Prokofiev's ballet, premiered in 1999 at the Monte-Carlo Opera's Salle Garnier, takes just this view of the timeless heroine. Dressed simply and with ephemeral gold powder replacing the traditional gold slippers, Cinderella is a representation of natural, unaffected beauty, and it is she (with the help of her Fairy Godmother) who saves the Prince from the decadent, superficial lifestyle of the court. Jérôme Kaplan's costumes, Dominique Drillot's lighting, and Ernest Pignon-Ernest's sets affirm the fantastical and dreamlike world of the ballet, giving a strong visual voice to Maillot's interpretation.
Photo: © Marie-Laure Briane
Saint Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra
Agnès Letestu (Cinderella), José Martinez (The movie star) – Corps de Ballet de l'Opéra national de Paris