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ENB’s Cinderella | Review

ENB’s Cinderella | Review

English National Ballet productions are synonymous for exquisite technique and artistry, an evening of pure dance entertainment, however their Cinderella production, currently touring, may just have pipped them all to the post.Choreographed by award winning choreographer Christopher Wheeldon, and based on the original story by Brothers Grimm, ENB’s Cinderella feels familiar yet different. The score by Prokofiev, instantly recognisable with it’s lulling melodies, is played live by the ENB’s Philharmonic Orchestra and conducted by Gavin Sutherland, who describes the music as

“just as passionate and romantic as Romeo & Juliet, with the added element of magic”

The staging and lighting give for some mesmerising moments, with the help of projections onto some of the props, that really help to enhance the magical feel of the production. The costumes add to this magic with elaborate brocades, mystical creatures and a special moment at the end of Act I, when Cinderella’s dream of going to the ball becomes reality!Erina Takahashi is a perfect Cinderella, meek and unassuming yet alluring and charismatic! She moves with such lightness and ease, like a leaf dancing in the wind, and floats like a feather during the intricate lifts with her sturdy and always presents Fates, and Prince Guillaume, danced by Joseph Calley.Joseph makes for a devoted Prince, ever the puppy dog, and is convincingly besotted with his one true love. He is tender and tentative during the pas de deux sequences, never faltering with his quiet strength. In contrast, we see his boyish charm and athleticism during his scenes with his best friend Benjamin.Jeffrey Cirio plays Benjamin, and together with Joseph, create a charming bromance, shirking responsibility together and relishing each others company, yet in friendly competition with brutish jousts and tumbles! The camaraderie between these cast members is genuine, and clear to see.Another notable duo are the ugly sisters. A move away from those characterised in the Disney movie or panto, Alison McWhinny and Katja Khaniukova are less ugly, more geek chic. Like many sisters, sibling rivalry is often out of hand, creating some of the lighter moments and laugh out loud slap stick humour! They would give any mother a headache!Stepmother Hortensia is danced by Tamara Rojo CBE, and is one of the stand out characters. Her portrayal of Cinderella’s vengeful and spiteful stepmother is wickedly satisfying,you love to hate her! Yet by the end, she will become your favourite character, with her realistic and relatable take on a mother who’s had far too much to drink and makes a complete show of herself! It’s really refreshing to see Tamara in such a characterised and comedic role and it’s one she plays extremely well.ENB’s Cinderella is one of the few full length ballet productions that is suitable for an audience of any age and will whisk you away to a world of fantasy. It’s currently showing at the Palace Theatre Manchester until Saturday 19th October, tickets still available here https://www.atgtickets.com/times/christopher-wheeldons-cinderella/palace-theatre-manchester/2019-10-19It is absolutely not one to miss, just make sure you’re home before Midnight!Cinderella os also part of ENB’s special 70th anniverary season. To celerate, they are giving away 70 tickets to each tour destination, for the venue to distibute to local charities or people making a positive impact in the community. More details on this and other anniversary celebrations can be found in their website https://www.ballet.org.uk/blog-detail/2019-2020-season-announcement/Dance Niche

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