Following the sell-out 2013 world premiere, Alexei Ratmansky’s Cinderella is set to mesmerise Adelaide audiences when this fairytale with a twist opens in July, in which South Australian dancers Brett Simon, Jill Ogai and Cristiano Martino will perform their roles before a home-town crowd for the first time.
Earlier this year Cristiano was one of six dancers nominated for the 2014 Telstra Ballet Dancer Award – the most prestigious prize in Australian ballet. He is in the running to win a $20,000 cash prize, as well as the $5000 prize for the People’s Choice Award, which is decided by public vote.
Cinderella is the first full-length work Ratmansky has created for an Australian company and the second time he has worked with The Australian Ballet. In 2009, he created Scuola di ballo as part of the Concord triple bill. But this time around he’s unleashed his considerable narrative talents on a sublime story ballet, taking audiences on a journey to 20th-century Russia and into an abandoned theatre where this unconventional fairy-tale is set.
The Artistic Director of The Australian Ballet, David McAllister, said Adelaide should expect the unexpected.
“Alexei has wonderfully reimagined iconic works such as The Nutcracker, Don Quixote and The Firebird, and his brand-new Cinderella is equally as spectacular,” said McAllister.
“This new Cinderella has the bones of the classic fairytale we know and love, but with a few surprises in store – and we can’t wait to share it with Adelaide.”
Dressed in little more than dusty rags, Cinderella works away while her tempestuous Stepmother and Stepsisters prepare for the royal ball. As she dreams of dancing with the Prince, an eccentrically disguised Fairy Godmother revolutionises Cinderella’s rags into a magnificent ball gown – forget the pumpkin and the mice, planets, moons and stars accompany Cinderella to the ball in this re-imagined fairytale.
Captivated from the moment Cinderella enters the ball, the Prince only has eyes for his mysterious muse. A tick of the clock and one lost slipper later, the handsome Prince must embark on a world-wide journey to find his lost love, visiting many lands teeming with temptations before he is reunited with her.
A former dancer, Ratmansky famously took the reins of the famed Bolshoi Ballet at just 36 years of age. He was Bolshoi’s artistic director for five years before heading across the Atlantic to join American Ballet Theatre in 2009 as Artist in Residence.
He has won numerous accolades for his choreography, including a UK Critics Circle National Dance Award for The Bright Stream; the Benois de la Danse prize for his choreography of Anna Karenina for the Royal Danish Ballet; and a Golden Mask Award for Best Choreographer for his production of Jeu de Cartes for Bolshoi Ballet.
Ratmansky has teamed up with award-winning costume designer Jérôme Kaplan to realise his creative vision. The duo have previously worked together on costumes for Het Nationale Ballet’s Don Quixote and the world premiere of Lost Illusions at Bolshoi; the latter won him a Golden Mask Award for Best Costume Design.
This stunning production will have its Adelaide premiere at Adelaide Festival Centre on 4 July for eight performances – the first time that it has been seen outside Melbourne and Sydney. Complementing the pirouettes and pas de deux will be the exquisite sounds of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, who will help bring Ratmansky’s Surrealist-inspired fairytale to life.
Festival Theatre – Adelaide Festival Centre, King William Street, Adelaide
Season: 4 – 10 July 2014
Bookings: 1300 369 741 or online at: www.australianballet.com.au
For more information, visit: www.australianballet.com.au for details.
Image: Leanne Stojmenov and Daniel Gaudiello in Cinderella – photo by Jeff Busby