Wiener Staatsballet: "Cendrillon" revisited. January 16th, 2017.
Somehow yesterday I had a funny feeling of „Déjà-vu” as “Cendrillon” started… of all things that I could think of just one stuck to my mind: “Annie Hall” (Woody Allen, 1977) and the (fabulous) scene in which Woody’s semi-biographical character “Alvy Singer” reveals that he always fell in love with the wrong women and we, the audience, are soon transferred to a cartoon in which Alvy makes love to Snow White’s Stepmother!
I know: it is another fairy-tale!
But she was not exactly the "good girl" of the movie/story, if you can remember and know what I mean!
But we will come to that later again!
At the precise moment in which Lázlo Benedek, Samule Colomber and Keisuke Nejime entered the stage as the Stepmother, Javotte and Anastasie it was love at first sight. And I must tell you: I was not the only that felt that way!
I simply love those rare moments in which audiences “fall madly in love” and you feel a wave of feelings reaching the proscenium.
These moments are becoming so rare nowadays...
The production is beautiful - with an incredble good taste all around (Something that I missed so much in the last production of "Josephs Legende").
Perhaps even more because of its simplicity that left so much more room for creativity. Thierry Malandain’s ideas and choreography are a joy. The choreography itself is much more “classical” than his previous “Don Juan” but I consider a great step in a beautiful direction. One that showed us that there’s no need about “lots of fuss” with sets, costumes, revolving stages, visual effects, videos and all the mad paraphernalia that some choreographers have been using to hide a certain lack of inventiveness.
And using Prokofiev’s music splendidly. A fact we must definitely mention.
Jorge Gallardo’s sets and costumes are perfect. Lovely details, like the mannequins (and the whole ensemble mastered a very good use of them), the wheel in which the Fairy Godmother brings Cendrillon to the ball (such a beautiful effect that represented the carriage marvelously), the high-heels… such lovely imaginative ideas! Intelligent ideas.
Even though there are many dancers that are ill at the moment – the Flu has also reached Vienna – I must congratulate the ensemble for such a good show and for such discipline.
Andrés Garcia-Torres, in three roles, but especially as the ballet-Master gave a technically very clean, very beautiful performance!
Kristina Ermolenok, looking very delicate and thin, could have impressed the audience more with her presence and clean performance, had it not been for a certain tension on her upper back and neck. But this winter is hard and I do not know if she was also fighting some health troubles.
Tainá Ferreira Luiz delighted as the “Solo-Fairy” – always giving 100% of her strength and concentration on stage, she was immensely sure-of-herself and confident en pointe (the only dancer to dance on her toes in this piece) and mastering perfectly the Fouettés-en-tounant. A versatile dancer she brought me to some good laughs as “the dressmaker” and again as the Fairy while trying to show the way to the prince and his friends. I like humour.
Gleb Shilov. A prince. What else can I say? Great presence, clean technique, very gifted physique. His experience as a performer shows on stage. I wish the choreography could include some more “Bravura” for this prince. Mr. Shilov can handle it.
Unfortunately, the dullest part of the evening is Cendrillon herself. It is quite hard for a dancer to make something interesting out of the choreography. I cannot comment Miss Kovacs-Galavics’ performance because she had not the chance to show anything.
This Cendrillon is normal, well-adjusted, a good girl with no fire in her, boring in fact!
Other characters are so more much interesting, more challenging to play.
Could you imagine Bette Davis being "a good girl" in films her whole life?
All this takes me fly back to where I started while writing this:
The Stepmother (Lázlo Benedek, fabulous with his walking sticks) and the Stepsisters (Samuel Colombet and Keisuke Nejime): these are really the great Stars of the evening.
Because they are fun. They are alive!
You see: like Woody I also do not care about falling in love with the wrong women.
A very pleasant evening at the Volksoper!