WITH panto just around the corner – oh yes it is – it seemed apt that the much-praised Northern Ballet should bring their own version of Cinders and her spiked-with-spite Sisters to the Palace Theatre, Manchester.
It’s a winner with enough style and verve to knock your hat off. I don’t believe I’ve enjoyed a ballet so much in many a long year. It’s certainly put by Christmas on an excellent early footing. And no mistake.
This magnificent new version is gilt-edged and whilst staying faithful to the old and much loved story,
Northern Ballet’s Artistic Director David Nixon reveals that this Cinderella was partly born out of repeated viewings of the iconic film Pretty Woman.
This is a company of truly amazing dancers and their skills thrill the audience throughout. There are fine strands of comedy, but the dark depths of the story are all too emotionally obvious and the vast divide between rich and poor is all too obvious.
The scenery is truly spell-binding – a huge “invitation to the ball” opens to reveal a stylish black and white room. The ballroom is born out of surreal angled furniture and lighting and the soft-centred snow scenes are truly magical.
Cinderella, he rags turned to silk, is transported to the ball in a sleigh pulled by four huskies (not real of course). It is utterly mesmerising and it’s all arranged by an eye-catching magician.
The wicked stepmother and the ugly sisters, who aren’t ugly at all here, but need a slap or two, grab lots of attention, as does the Prince in his quest to find the fine beauty who left behind one slipper as she fled at midnight. The elements dealing with time were brilliant.
Russia in the snow also added to the joy as a series of dancers set different scenes.
Cinderella plays at Manchester Palace Theatre until Saturday.