Oh, to have sixth row center seats for a glorious ballet every Friday.
Can you believe this is my first visit to the Joffrey Ballet? And I don’t think I could have picked a better introduction. Before I go any further, I must urge you: if you can get tickets to Cinderella, do! But hurry — this Sunday (tomorrow) is the last performance.
This is a complete recreation of Sir Frederick Ashton’s landmark production of this classic ballet, which originally premiered in 1948 at the Royal Ballet. The sets and costumes have a vintage Hollywood movie musical vibe — especially the fairy godmother’s dress — but the sheer beauty and elegance of the piece is timeless.
I’m not going to pretend I can intelligently discuss dance, but I will say no one fell and everyone looked like they knew what they were doing. Seems every night they rotate the entire cast, but last night we saw Christine Rocas as the title role, and she was adorable and so elegantly precise. Great chemistry between her and Temur Suluashvili as her prince. Scene stealers Matthew Adamczyk and Willy Shives were wonderfully obnoxious as the step sisters.
And that floaty entrance Cinderella makes at the ball in a billowy, gossamer cape, walking (without looking!) down a flight of stairs — en pointe! It will take your breath away. I think we all need to make an entrance like that once in our lives. (Maybe that’s how I’ll arrive at the office Monday morning? We’ll see. I have to work at walking a straight line, first.)
But the dancing, to me, is only part of the experience: the music is equally glorious. Serge Prokofiev’s rich score, at times, sounds like something from a Tim Burton movie. Especially the main waltz theme (listen here). All ominous and dark and stirring. Not what I expected for a story so seemingly steeped in fantasy and delicacy. And the Chicago Sinfonietta, the resident orchestra for the Joffery Ballet, sounded fabulous — especially the horns and the tuba (played with resonant gusto by Charles Schuchat).
I want to go back!