Northern Ballet’s Cinderella

Northern Ballet dancers Giuliano Contadini and Lucia Solari in David Nixon OBE's Cinderella. Photo Emma Kauldhar

Northern Ballet are back again in Sheffield with their rendition of Cinderella. Northern Ballet are regulars here and never fail to disappoint avid followers and fans. If you are a fan of theirs, then you will know that they typically tend to just go with traditional storylines and tales without changing too much, this is a little different and takes influences from around the globe and adds in their renditions.

On opening night, the ballet company smash all expectations out of the water with impeccably well-rehearsed dancers, you will struggle to find error on the stage. The choreography from David Nixon once again wins and plants smiles across faces in the auditorium. The production is full of the most beautiful ballet content; plentiful arabesques, lots of pointe-work and exquisite costumes.

The majority of us will know the storyline of Cinderella but this is slightly off track to the traditional tale we love and know. In essence this is still Cinderella and still a real rags to riches tale. Cinderella is whisked away from her wicked step-mother to the glistening lake of ice, where she first meets her prince. There are elements in this story of something a little darker but you will have to go and watch to find out just what….

As always, Northern Ballets selection of dancing stars is second to none. The most talent you can find within the genre are usually on this stage. It seemed to be quite a large cast for this tour but there are some scenes which demanded a good size crowd to be on the stage, The Winter Market, for example. It is quite tough to think about certain dancers and who really stood out this time, however, the lead role of Cinderella danced by Abigail Prudames was just perfection. She is a typical ballerina, delicate and dedicated but has fantastic stage presence, smiling all the way through the scenes that demanded it, especially her flirty, pretty and romantic solo on the ‘ice rink’ just before the pas de deux with Prince Mikhail (Joseph Taylor). Her solo left the audience still and silent, you could just feel the awe from the atmosphere.

The rest of the company really matter to this production, there is not one that goes unnoticed. The team make the scene on the Crystal Lake just breath-taking. They fool the audience into believing they are really on ice with the long glides across the stage and the way that the men hold their fellow female dancers.

The set design had many elements. A really good effort for the scenes and scene changes in the most part, especially the transformation between the cooker in Cinderella’s dismal kitchen in to a glamorous cart to take Cinderella to the ball. The only questionable part of the design was the back drop with ‘Cinders’ on it. One could wonder if this as the right production for that type of snazzy, panto-type piece.

Runs from 24th -28th September.

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