My family frequently gets me ballet tickets for my birthday, because I love it. I wanted to be a dancer, but my knees gave out in my teens and that was that. I used to cry for a few minutes at the beginning whenever I went, but I no longer do. I DO however watch their feet. A. Lot. Last night at The Cincinnati Ballet’s new production of Cinderella, I got to watch a bunch of really beautiful feet.
Victoria Morgan has been the artistic director and CEO of the ballet since 1997. She has consistently done a fantastic job, but the last few years have seen the Cincinnati Ballet rise to another level. I know PNC Bank sponsored Cinderella, but there is no doubt that our little Ballet company has had an infusion of cash. What has always been excellent choreography by Ms. Morgan, is now accompanied by lavish sets, and beautiful costumes. Last year’s Alice in Wonderland was beautiful, the reconstituted yearly Christmas treat, The Nutcracker (a Cincinnati Ballet staple for as long as I can remember) is likewise beautiful and now this new version of Cinderella. I have one word, WOW.
I love story ballets. I can’t speak to any of the recent collection ballets, because I’m really stuck on the fairy tales, and I haven’t been to any of the other ones recently. I don’t usually like it when people muck about with the story, Rogers and Hammerstein’s politicized Cinderella, I’m talking to YOU, but the little bit of mucking the Cincinnati Ballet did with this Cinderella was fine with me. They included her father, which I thought I’d hate, but didn’t, it made the absence of her mother more poignant, and the fairy godmother had help, which I also thought I’d hate, but which I ended up loving.
This show was Cinderella in all her glory accompanied by breathtaking sets, I cannot tell you in words how gorgeous the ball scene was, and something I’ve never seen in a ballet before, puppetry. The mice, a dancing broom, and Lordy, Lordy, those carriage horses! Costuming that literally made me gasp, picture the ball, filled with Degas ballerinas, and two of the best ugly stepsisters I’ve ever seen. They were played by Jake Casey and James Cunningham, and as is often the case with those ugly gals, they stole the show.
Janessa Touchet was our Cinderella and she was the perfect mix of delicacy and strength that characterizes Cindy. Patric Palkens was the Prince, and he was perfect. Very handsome, very powerful, both he and Janessa were technically excellent. Pairing all the talented dancers of our company with the beautiful score by Sergei Prokofiev made for a remarkable night. There were a couple of accidental bobbles as a result of fake snow and leaves on the stage, but if you weren’t looking right at the spot, you’d never have noticed. I can usually find some fault in shows, but I honestly cannot find fault with this production. The Cincinnati Ballet has elevated itself to a first rate, big city Company, and I couldn’t be more proud. Look out NYC, we really don’t need you anymore.
If you have a chance, go tonight or tomorrow. It’s a perfect choice for Valentine’s weekend.
Have a beautiful day! 😍