Posts tagged Cinderella
Age of Magic

Recently landed: Age of Magic, Gracia's written response for Fjord Review

In this Cinderella, nothing is fixed and quite as it seems: From the Fairy Godmother tipping her bowler hat to René Magritte, to the topiary in the royal gardens inverting the laws of nature, converting at midnight to Man Ray worthy metronomes, Ratmansky’s Cinderella remains a conduit to a parallel universe. For me, it called to mind the Golden Age of Magic, from a time when Harry Houdini could make elephants vanish, and handcuffed and chained, he himself could escape from a box of solid iron. The art of illusion and escape typified by such magicians is not so very different to the theatre. A terrific showman, Houdini would stay submerged in his watery cell for longer than he needed to escape in order to build tension and increase the suspense; not so very unlike the explosive arrival of the ardent Prince—at last!—in act II epitomised by both Gaudiello and Guo’s seeming defiance of gravity as they soared higher and higher. In Ratmansky’s Cinderella every character knows how to make an entrance.

Illusion lies at the heart of this fairy tale. If I looked closely, I could see how Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother transformed her attire from rags to Christian Dior New-Look style gown of pure white tulle and gold lamé. If I looked, I could see Cinderella’s 'magical appearance' at the ball was actually one of 'look over there' staging. If I looked ... But this of course is not what I chose to focus upon. I chose to focus upon the magical effect. I submit completely to the offer of escapism, be it within a play, film, opera, or ballet. Uninterrupted escapism is a rare treat only a fool would choose to squander. Moreover, in doing so, it makes a marshmallow of me at act II’s heartbreaking close.

Madeleine Eastoe as Cinderella (Image credit: Jeff Busby)


Recently landed: Bodyclock: Alexei Ratmansky's Surreal Cinderella (Gracia's written response for Fjord Review)

Tick, tock. Tick, tock. Sergei Prokofiev’s beautifully eerie time keeping score. Tick, tock. Tick, tock. A row of conical hedges transform with one rotation into metronomes. Tick, tock. Tick, tock. A dancer’s leg strikes twelve, over and over. Tick, tock. Tick, tock. A leg can swing like a pendulum, oscillating back and forth from a central point. A body has become a clock, proving Salvador Dali true: "every portrait can be transformed into living room furniture", and thus Mae West’s lips become a sofa on which to sit. The body can become an object and an object can become a body. Time and transformation are the threads that bind this new production of The Australian Ballet’s Cinderella together.

Leanne Stojmenov as Cinderella in Alexei Ratmansky’s new production of Cinderella premiered by The Australian Ballet (Image credit: Jeff Busby)