We round up the reviews for the new co-production between The Royal Ballet and the National Ballet of Canada of Frederick Ashton’s ballet.
Broadway World: *** “Magic really does abound, but it also feels a bit on the busy side and the projections are a little off-putting. Flowers actively bloom as the dancers move in Act 1; consequently one doesn’t quite know where to look, detracting from the actual dancing.”
The Guardian: *** “The orchestra sounds strong, the score full of sweet tension and stirring undercurrents in a way that the ballet itself isn’t really. But where the ballet’s magic does come alive is in the perfection of Nuñez and Muntagirov’s pas de deux, their regal ease, the incredible lightness of Nuñez’s feet – you could believe she was under a spell. The dancing is transporting, this ballet embodying the fairytale escapism we all sometimes need, telling us everything will turn out fine in the end.”
Culture Whisper: **** “This Cinderella must count as the highlight of The Royal Ballet’s 22/23 season; definitely a keeper, it’ll be a treat for adults and children alike for many future seasons.”
The Stage: ***** “Whizz-bang 75th-anniversary revamp of Frederick Ashton’s classic production brings out its magic, with Marianela Nuñez in the title role and Vadim Muntagirov as the prince.”
Evening Standard: **** “Cinderella is a company show, rich with opportunities. Fumi Kaneko’s incisive fairy godmother introduces a retinue of seasonal fairies including Yuhui Choe’s gusting coppery autumn and Mayara Magri’s icicle-sharp winter. The nicely-drawn palace guests form a luscious wheel of sprites and squires. Everyone digs into Ashton’s crisp yet yearning phrasing.”
London Unattached: “Marianela Nuñez last seen by me as Princess Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty creates a delicate Cinderella who seems to float on the air as she delivers Ashton’s complex pointe work. Nuñez’s line is exquisite and she inhabits the vulnerability and pathos of the part as she birdlike echoes the flute. She mirrors the steps in the background as her sisters are taking their dancing lesson and when dancing on her own with the broomstick there is a genuine sense of longing to go with her high extensions.”
Tatler: “In this adaptation, nature and imagination rules – whether it’s the tangle of trees that border the stage casting a maze of shadows or the relay of flower fairies, accompanied by adorable miniatures, variously holding a bluebell or dressed as a pansy. Cinderella is sweetness throughout – she’s even generous enough to plant a kiss on the cheeks of her terrible stepsisters when she is revealed as the wearer of the glass slipper.”
The Telegraph: *** “This new production of Frederick Ashton’s Cinderella is brimming with magic – but do the performances measure up?”
The Arts Desk: **** “Despite this minor flaw, as well as a pumpkin transformation that’s frankly underweight, it’s a real achievement that the visual effects feel magical rather than digital. Film can do digital but live theatre and dance should steer clear of it, or risk losing their raison d’être. Hats off to conductor Koen Kessel for leading the House orchestra through a reading of Prokofiev’s score that skimped not a molecule of its darkness, nor its glistening enchantment.”
Cinderella continues to play at the Royal Opera House until the 3rd May.