Ballet Cymru brings the classic fairy-tale, Cinderella, to life in a staging that delightfully honours the original Grimm tale, complete with bloodied feet and bird-pecked eyes.
Darius James’ and Amy Doughty’s beautifully intricate projection of trees on gauze demonstrates a strong aesthetic from the off, complimented by Chris Illingworth’s beams of light from the wings.
Cinderella (Beth Meadway) is graceful in her deposition and the story does not dwell too heavily on her sorry state. In obeyance to Grimm, her father (Daniel Morrison) is present but pitiably passive, as the joyously vulgar and hedonistic step-family hold sway (headed by a forceful and exuberant Eka Mastrangelo as Aerona the step-mother).
Krystal Lowe (above) performs with strength and fluidity as Mam and Aderyn, with a simple refrain indicating the spiritual link between mother and “godmother”. She performs her magic with the help of the company dancers as a flock of attentive birds, costumes by Steve Denton. Aerial work by Citrus Arts and main character costumes by the choreographers, inject an animated contemporary circus style to the piece.
The charming prince Madoc (Robbie Moorcroft) is accompanied by the ebullient Maldwyn (with a stand-out performance by Miguel Fernandez).
Jack White’s mesmerising live score, especially composed for Ballet Cymru is particularly enjoyable, performed live on woodwind, violin and cello.
Narratively, the show is uncomplicated (and not overly schmaltzy) apart from a slightly confusing ending that involves the step sister’s (Maria Teresa Brunello) surprising release from the bad influence of her brother (a pleasing re-interpretation, performed by James Parratt) and mother, to wed Maldwyn in a double-celebration at the close of play.
James Pratt, Eka Mastrangelo and Maria Teresa Brunello
This is a lively and entertaining enactment of a much-loved tale, packed with humour, grace and arty-goodness.
Ballet Cymru’s Cinderella tours to UK venues until 7th July 2018
Main image: Beth Meadway and Robbie Moorcroft
Images Sian Trenberth.