I’m not sure if I have mentioned here that my daughters are dancers here before, my eldest is currently taking lessons in ballet, tap and modern, and is absolutely loving all aspects of it, as is her little sister. So naturally my curiosity has been awoken by their enthusiasm for their hobby, and when I saw that Ballet Cymru’s Cinderella was at the Riverfront I jumped at the chance to take the girls to see it.
— Sarah (@hillsdaffodils) May 9, 2015
I’ll admit I was nervous, I had never seen a ballet performance in real life before, and I was taking my daughters with me, one of which is still very young and energetic so I had no idea what to expect, I made sure we had drinks and snacks and that both girls knew they had to be respectful of the other people in the audience, since this wasn’t like the previous shows they had seen and not necessarily aimed at children only.
But I needn’t have worried, I was surprised at how many children were at the showing, and we even saw a tiny little baby there! I would also say the people who weren’t there with children seemed to enjoy seeing them soaking up the atmosphere anyway.
So what did I think of Cinderella? Well when I enjoy something I tend to get a little over enthusiastic, so I will try and restrain myself- Cinderella was magical, absolutely and completely wonderful and I could not have been more impressed by every one of the dancers and the choreography by Darius James and Amy Doughty, I really couldn’t. I will say that I was fully expecting to have to leave half way through as the girls were probably going to get bored, I apologise for my naive assumption there though, and I can’t quite put into words how wrong I was, to watch my girl, who loves to dance, sit on the edge of her seat (literally!) for the whole performance, clapping and laughing along was quite something.
We all know the story of Cinderella but this was an adaptation of the Brothers Grimm tale, and I was very pleased with that. Krystal Lowe’s bird (and Cinderella’s Mother) scenes were mesmerising, the skill and emotion that we witnessed from Krystal were some of my favourite parts of the show, so intense and delicate at the same time. I really didn’t feel worthy watching her, but even though my knowledge of ballet is very limited I was able to really appreciate the effort and skill on show.
As the story of Cinderella passed by with hardly any words, but plenty of dance and music to tell the tale, there were a few things that stood out, firstly there the ugly step sister and brother duo interested me, of course the male/female mix allowed for more lifts and versatility than the usual ‘sisters’ and the lifts and fluid way in which they worked together was fascinating. They also brought an element of fun to the show I think, they danced in a playful and almost unplanned way, although I am sure this is far from the truth, and this captured the attention of the children in the audience.
When Madoc (prince charming) went looking for Cinderella and the ugly step siblings were trying to fit themselves into the shoe, a ballet one of course, the step mother had an interesting way of making their feet shrink, I don’t want to leave any spoilers here but I will say the loud scream made me laugh a little and the children look concerned, I did explain that this was all pretend and my youngest now exclaims this was her favourite part of the show. You’ll see what I mean if you go to see Cinderella for yourself.
Not forgetting the amazing aerial effects from Citrus Arts, a healthy dose of amusing theatre from The Riverfront and some fantastic music from Jack White the whole show was wonderful from start to finish, and as mine and my girls first taste of a ballet production I think we started on the right foot definitely, even if my youngest girl did spill her Capri Sun all over herself half way through! The joys of small children in public places I guess.
Congratulations to everyone involved in the creation of Cinderella, we are really grateful for the effort you put into entertaining us that evening, and I can’t wait to see what Ballet Cymru has in store for us next time.
Ballet Cymru Cinderella is on tour until the end of June, find tickets here- Cinderella
Tickets for this show were provided for review.