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Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo Sparkles in Cinderella at NY City Center

by Taylor Gordon
March 8, 2016
New York City Center
130 West 56th Street
(Audience Entrance is on West 55th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues)
(Entrance for Studios and Offices is on West 56th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues)
New York, NY 10019
212.247.0430
Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo celebrated its 30th anniversary with performances of Jean-Christophe Maillot’s Cinderella at New York City Center.

Their opening night performance on Thursday, February 18, 2016, was an evening of animated acting and glittering technique – literally.

Choreographed in 1999 to Sergi Prokofiev's score for the ballet, Maillot’s take on Charles Perrault's classic tale was big on humor and minimalist in its set design.

The contemporary ballet, opened with Anjara Ballesteros in the title role, cradling a white silk dress while her parents, a wide-eyed Mimoza Koike and Gabriele Corrado, danced a playful pas de deux. Koike, as Cinderella's mother, then suddenly fell dead in her her husband's arms. Sparkly dust then rained down, turning her into Cinderella's Fairy Godmother. Koike’s range of emotions and energetic movements contrasted with the more demure Ballesteros she displayed throughout the production.

When the Fairy Godmother delivered the “Invitation Au Bal,” Maude Sabourin as the Evil Stepmother, steals the show. She was as sharp as she was tall. Every step she took was calculated and commanding. Her two vivacious attendants garnered frequent laughs, as did Cinderella's feisty stepsisters.

Jerome Kaplan’s costumes for the ballet also contributed to some comical moments, particularly Sabourin’s wild purple dress for the ball that stuck out in the back like a dragon's tail. Fitting of her demeanor. The stepsisters were costumed in long half skirts that only covered one side of their body.

By contrast, Cinderella wore the same silk white dress from the beginning of the ballet through the ball, which drew more attention than any glass slippers. The only female dancer not in pointe shoes, Cinderella stepped in a bowl and then was lifted up to show her shimmering feet covered in glitter a sparkling substitute for glass slippers.

The ballet played out the familiar tale as expected: Cinderella fell in love with the Prince (a charming Lucien Postlewaite), the clock struck midnight sending Cinderella running, the Prince went on a quest in search of her, and the two reunite and live happily ever after.

The ballet's final image of Cinderella costumed in gold walking up the stairs of the Prince's palace with him as glitter rained down on them was a memorable moment in a production that shined from beginning to end.
Anjara Ballesteros as Cinderella in Jean Christophe Maillot's 'Cinderella.'

Anjara Ballesteros as Cinderella in Jean Christophe Maillot's "Cinderella."

Photo © & courtesy of Alice Blangero


Gaëlle Riou and Anne-Laure Seillan as the stepsisters in Jean Christophe Maillot's 'Cinderella.'

Gaëlle Riou and Anne-Laure Seillan as the stepsisters in Jean Christophe Maillot's "Cinderella."

Photo © & courtesy of Alice Blangero


Gabriele Corrado as the Father and Mimoza Koike as the Mother in Jean Christophe Maillot's 'Cinderella.'

Gabriele Corrado as the Father and Mimoza Koike as the Mother in Jean Christophe Maillot's "Cinderella."

Photo © & courtesy of Alice Blangero

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