Renowned world-wide for their technical ability and breath-taking performances, The Russian State Ballet of Siberia treated the audience at Norwich Theatre Royal to an ethereal performance of Cinderella last night. As the lights dimmed and the curtain rose, I was expecting a very traditional and impressive performance. To my delight I found myself laughing along to what was a surprisingly funny and utterly beautiful piece.
Cinderella told the tale of the infamous girl, bullied and put into service by her evil step mother and ugly step sisters. When they receive an invitation to the ball hosted by the Prince, Cinderella dreams of going…and then her dreams come true. After dancing the night away, the clock strikes midnight and her beautiful gown turns back into rags. As she flees, she loses her sparkly pointe shoe, which the Prince finds and embarks on a mission to find the mystery girl. Eventually he finds Cinderella and they all live happily ever after.
The set was simple – there was no West End style razzmatazz or glitz and glam and there really didn’t need to be. In a similar vein the costumes were stunning – elegant with a few statement details but you weren’t paying much attention to those – it was all about the dancers.
What made this performance so special was the combination of the dramatic score and dancer’s ability to convey emotion through poise and facial expressions alone. Elena Svinko’s portrayal of simpering Cinderella’s pulled at the heart strings in the first act, before evoking pure joy as she fell in love with her Prince. Both her and the Prince’s (Marcello Pelizzoni) technical ability was astounding, every move they made was perfectly executed (and well-rehearsed). You couldn’t help but be amazed and fall a little bit in love with them.
Whilst their moves wowed, it was the ugly steps sisters (Anastasiia Osokina and Perdita-Jayne Lancaster) and the Step-mother’s (Pavel Kirchev) performance that almost stole show. The way Kirchev strutted over confidently around the stage had you both laughing and loathing her. Their garish costumes, overwhelming sense of arrogance and self-indulgence combined with some panto-esque facial expressions made for a hilarious performance – something I wasn’t expecting from a more ‘traditional’ ballet.
The Russian State Ballet of Siberia’s Cinderella was breath-taking. The company has earned their reputation as one of the best in the world for a very good reason. If you get chance to see one of their performances – go. It was both the perfect introduction the world of ballet for newbies and would still delight even the most seasoned ballet fans. Bravo…or should I say браво (according to Google Translate!)
The Russian State Ballet of Siberia are currently on a UK tour. You can find out more about upcoming performances here.
These tickets were kindly given to me for the purpose of review. As always my opinion remains honest and unbiased.