Cinderella: My First Ballet

QB Artists of the Queensland Ballet in Cinderella photo by Dave KellyEvery aspect of the matinee production I attended was impressive. Aimed at introducing little ones to the wonderful world of ballet, they were in for a fairytale treat the moment they stepped into the Thomas Dixon Centre.

Parked inside the entrance was a golden stage coach which proved popular for photographs. Perfect for the lots of little girls dressed as princesses, who were the majority of attendees. There was also a majestic mirror to check costumes en-route to the colouring in section.

The performance lasted an hour and successfully held small attention spans. Glancing around me, I saw little faces with eyes fixed upon the stage. The young audience members showed their genuine appreciation by clapping frequently. Authentic and adorable.

Sergei Prokofiev composed the jubilant, majestic score for the original production which premiered at the Bolshoi Theatre in 1995. This production was an abbreviated version of the ballet which was choreographed by Ben Stevenson. The full length ballet was performed by Queensland Ballet back in 2013.

Choreographer, Matthew Lawrence is behind this delightful adaptation. Tracy Grant-Lord designed the fairytale costumes.

QB Artists of the Queensland Ballet in Cinderella photo by Dave Kelly 2The ‘ugly’ stepsisters, performed in travesti, were appropriately lavishly clad in pantomimic style attire. The costumes were ideal for their comedic performances which included lots of skirt lifting and pantaloon showing. Despite their assumed ‘clumsiness’ they were clearly, to me, skilled dancers. I think Taron Geyl and Joshua Douglas had a lot of fun eliciting laughter in those roles. Well done!

Gina Lee was a refined but dominant character as the stepmother. Her new husband, Clayton Forsyth was a dignified dad who also doubled as a dragonfly. Nice work. Annabelle McCoy was the ideal beautiful, graceful Fairy godmother. A smooth, authoritative and elegantly executed performance by Jack Jones as Dancemaster.

Central to both the story and the performance were Cinderella (Alyssa Park) and her handsome Prince (Joseph Moss). A well paired romantic couple who clearly demonstrated the realisation of emerging professional potential. An excellent Pas de deux duo who are a credit to the Pre-professional program, demonstrating the calibre of their training and their teachers.

I was deeply impressed by the coordination and cohesion of this young couple, particularly in the lifts which included a partial ‘fish dive’. Joseph Moss also effortlessly executed a one-handed lift. They are both dancers to keep an eye on in the future.

My First Ballet is a brilliant initiative by Queensland Ballet. In addition to their regional tours, it shows the commitment of the company to bring ballet to wider and younger  audiences. A delightful production.

Cinderella: My First Ballet
Talbot Theatre – Thomas Dixon Centre, 406 Montague Road, West End (Brisbane)
Performance: Friday 21 June 2024
Season continues to 29 June 2024
Information and Bookings:

Images: Artists of the Queensland Ballet in Cinderella – photos by Dave Kelly

Review:  Michele-Rose Boylan