Russian Ballet Troupe has new take on ‘Cinderella’
BY RANDALL G. MIELKE Contributor January 17, 2013 1:06PM
The ballet "Cinderella" will be performed at the Rialto Square Theatre on Jan. 22.
The State Ballet Theatre of Russia presents ‘Cinderella’
7:30 p.m. Jan. 26
Genesee Theatre, 203 N. Genesee St., Waukegan
(800) 982-2787; geneseetheatre.com
Updated: January 18, 2013 9:11AM
The story of “Cinderella” has been presented in numerous forms over the years, often with variations and subtle changes in the basic plot or characters.
The State Ballet Theatre of Russia’s production, which will be presented Jan. 26 at the Genesee Theatre in Waukegan, is no exception.
The ballet was founded in 1961 in the city of Voronezh, said Anastasia Dukhnina, public relations manager for the ballet company.
“In 2006, the State Ballet Theater of Russia invited Vladimir Vasiliev, a famous Russian ballet dancer and choreographer, to revise his 1991 production of ‘Cinderella’ and stage it for the Voronezh ballet company,” said Dukhnina about the troupe’s current touring production. “Mr. Vasiliev’s choreography reflected changes that took place in the art of ballet over the past decades. This production combines both elements of traditional ballet and more modern choreography. Mr. Vasiliev took full advantage of composer Sergei Prokofiev’s music and created images of Cinderella’s stepmother and stepsisters with grotesque and over-the-edge comic representations. In fact, in this production a male actor plays the stepmother’s role.”
“Cinderella,” as performed by The State Ballet Theatre of Russia, presents a company of 65 Russian dancers, many of whom have won international ballet competitions. The ballet company tours in the United States and Canada every year. The current tour, which runs through Feb. 17, will have the company giving more than 30 performances in 22 cities. All the sets and costumes travel with the company from one venue to the next.
“Touring dancers and crew members have to adapt to change constantly,” Dukhnina said. “The whole troupe is involved, starting with the technical staff. They need to design tour-friendly productions and adjust them to suit different venues. The dancers must be prepared to cover a broad range of roles and say ‘goodbye’ to the comfort of their homes and main theater, adjust to new food and new performing venues.”
But for the ballet troupe, the satisfaction outweighs the challenges.
“The most satisfaction for the dancers comes from the audience’s reaction to the performance,” Dukhnina said. “Exited, spontaneous applause from the audience gives the dancers energy, enthusiasm and gratitude to carry on and perform to the best of their ability.”