Review: Ballet Cymru’s Cinderella, Newport Riverfront

Ballet Cymru’s latest take on a traditional fairy-tale is a bilingual interpretation of The Brothers Grimm story Cinderella.

Untouched by the constraints of a pantomime plot, stereotypical characterisations are stripped away to return Cinderella’s rags to riches tale to its darker roots told amid spectacular and dramatic choreography by Darius James & Amy Doughty, while superbly timed to Jack White’s musical score.

The ugly sisters are dispersed with in favour of a matriarch stepmother, Aerona an oppressed father and two step siblings Seren and Cas for Cinderella to contend with.

The production maintains an air of its tradition through carefully crafted costumes by Steve Denton including Cinderella’s rags and Aerona’s distinctive evil stepmother look. This contrasts somewhat to the modern props including sofa, chair, newspaper and Seren’s spectacles which bring an additional surrealism to the productions darker edges.

While Allegra Vianello (Cinderella), Daniel Morrison (Madoc) and Natalie Debona (Aerona) keep the audience focused on lead characters through classic dance moves there is much to be savored by Krystal Lowe (The bird) and the rest of the company who perform circus elements combined with the finest classical dance.

Lydia Arnoux and Robbie Moorcroft performances as Cinderella’s siblings Seren and Cas are particularly the shows highlight for not only delivering a polished ballet performance but also for adding comedy (and some audience laughter) to what could have been potentially dark scenes when their mother attempts to maim them with a meat cleaver in the second half.

If you have any preconceptions of what ballet is throw them out the window, Cinderella is a live presentation that can be appreciated by the whole family.

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