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New York Theatre Ballet - Cinderella and the Cinderella's Ball Children's Party

by Robert Abrams
March 2, 2014
Florence Gould Hall
55 East 59th Street
New York, NY 10022

Featured Dance Company:

New York Theatre Ballet
New York Theatre Ballet/Ballet School NY (office)
30 East 31st Street, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10016
212-679-0401
www.nytb.org

I arrived home after the New York Theatre Ballet's Cinderella feeling that it is possible to live happily ever after.

New York Theatre Ballet (NYTB) danced a one hour ballet of Cinderella with elegance and poise in front of a packed house. The opening lecture-demonstration by Diana Byer with some of her students was informative. Cinderella was beautiful. The step-sisters, danced by men, were funny. The set was magical. I could go on, but my daughter was sitting on my lap and I didn't take notes.

This was a show with quality equal to any very good show for adults, but it was for kids, so it is the kids' opinions that matter most here. My daughter, who has seen many shows including Nrityagram Dance Ensemble and has been taking dance lessons for over a year, was dancing in her seat with her hands stretched out and above her head. She was clapping. She said "I don't want to miss anything." After the show was over, she was so enthralled that she wanted to give Cinderella her own tiara. (Fortunately, Cinderella {Elena Zahlmann} was as good with kids as she was talented on stage, and convinced my daughter that she should keep her tiara.)

There was a party for the kids after the show. Cinderella and Prince Charming got married. The kids blew bubbles and threw Cinderella-themed confetti. Cinderella threw her bouquet to a crowd of excited kids. There was food and drink and cupcakes. The kids could make crafts, have their picture taken with Cinderella and Prince Charming, and have a balloon animal made. There were raffles. The kids could dance a waltz with cast members. Many cast members gamely interacted in character with the kids. Every kid got a goodie bag and balloons. Parents talked to each other. The room was filled with great energy, and people were dancing: parties don't get better than that.

I originally was led to believe, based on the promotional materials in advance of the show, that I was paying $50 or so per ticket for both the performance and the party. It turned out there was a miscommunication: the tickets were about $50 each and I had to pay an extra $50 per person for the party. I am not sure if I would have so readily signed up if I had known the tickets for the show and party were $100 per person, but having experienced the event, I am happy I did: I felt I received excellent value for the $100 per person, and it does support a very worthy dance company. I paid for some raffle tickets in addition, and was happy I did. Considering everything NYTB has been dealing with behind the scenes recently, the perfection of both the show and the party was all the more a testament to the company's many talents. (Yes, there were minor problems like this miscommunication, but only G-d is perfect.)

New York Theatre Ballet produces high quality dance, and they really understand the needs of parents with kids. NYTB does their part to develop both new dancers and new dance fans. My daughter, for one, wants to return for their next show - as she was falling asleep tonight, she suggested that NYTB present a ballet of Rapunzel, with Rapunzel's wedding. If other dance companies learned from NYTB's example of ways to grow the dance community, the field of dance would be stronger in the long run.



Cinderella
Choreography by Donald Mahler
Music by Sergei Prokofiev
Costume Design by Sylvia Taalsohn Nolan
Set Design by Gillian Bradshaw-Smith
*
Since the death of her parents,
Cinderella lives lonely and unloved
with her stepmother and stepsisters.
*
Scene One: Cinderella at Home
Cinderella mourns the loss of her mother,
the stepsisters prepare for a grand party at the palace,
and Cinderella has unexpected visitors
who make a great change in her life.
Cinderella - Elena Zahlmann/Rie Ogura
Stepsisters - Mitchell Kilby & Michael Wells
Stepmother - Amanda Treiber/Carmella Lauer
Dancing Master - Seth Ives
Fairy Godmother - Brianna Steinfeldt
Fairies, the Bringers of Love - Melissa Sadler & Rie Ogura/Elena Zahlmann
The Clock - Mitchell Kilby & Michael Wells

(In the performance reviewed, Elena Zahlmann danced Cinderella and Amanda Treiber danced the Stepmother.)
*
Scene two: The Palace
The prince and his guests are greatly affected
by the arrival of Cinderella and her new friends.
The Prince - Steven Melendez
Majordomo - Dan Renkin
Guests - Alexis Branagan, Carmella Lauer, Amanda Treiber, Seth Ives, Choong Hoon Lee, George Sanders
*
Scene three: Cinderella at Home the Morning after the Ball
The Prince finds his true love,
and all live happily ever after.
NYTB's Cinderella

NYTB's Cinderella

Photo © & courtesy of Richard Termine


NYTB's Cinderella and the Fairies

NYTB's Cinderella and the Fairies

Photo © & courtesy of Richard Termine


NYTB's Cinderella's wedding to Prince Charming

NYTB's Cinderella's wedding to Prince Charming

Photo © & courtesy of Robert Abrams


NYTB's Cinderella's wedding to Prince Charming (detail)

NYTB's Cinderella's wedding to Prince Charming (detail)

Photo © & courtesy of Robert Abrams


NYTB's Cinderella's wedding to Prince Charming (detail)

NYTB's Cinderella's wedding to Prince Charming (detail)

Photo © & courtesy of Robert Abrams


NYTB's Cinderella's wedding to Prince Charming

NYTB's Cinderella's wedding to Prince Charming

Photo © & courtesy of Robert Abrams


NYTB's Cinderella's wedding to Prince Charming (detail)

NYTB's Cinderella's wedding to Prince Charming (detail)

Photo © & courtesy of Robert Abrams


NYTB's Cinderella's wedding to Prince Charming (detail)

NYTB's Cinderella's wedding to Prince Charming (detail)

Photo © & courtesy of Robert Abrams

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