A Cinderella Story
Choreography by Val Caniparoli
Original score by Ron Paley, from the Richard Rogers songbook
Review by Valerie Canon
Entire contents copyright © 2015 by Valerie Canon. All rights reserved.
I had the great pleasure of seeing A Cinderella Story performed on Valentine’s Day night. From start to finish, this performance is one of the best productions I have seen presented by the Louisville Ballet.
Choreographer Val Caniparoli’s use of pattern to move the dancers into and out of scenes created seamless transitions. This, in connection with the inventive and stylized choreography, is intended to keep the attention on the story and the dancers throughout the entirety of the ballet. And it works; I didn’t want to miss a thing. There were so many silly and fun moments that would have been lost on any audience member not paying rapt attention.
The set pieces were a throwback to an era recently revitalized by Mad Men, with numerous atomic-age motifs. The use of Arthur Murray as the dance school was ingenious. Several of the set changes were breathtakingly fluid, creative, and simply brilliant.
A sensitive, charming, and technically flawless Natalia Ashikhmina played Nancy, the Cinderella character in the story. Rob Marrow, who, as Nancy’s faithful Dog, was quirky, fun and a true pleasure to watch, complimented her nicely. It was a pleasant surprise to see Ballet Master Uwe Kern return to the stage in the dancing role of the Father. Stepsisters Dotty (Emily Reinking O’Dell) and Adeline (Christy Corbitt Miller) provided some of the best acting on the stage (and were really excellent at hula-hooping). As the Stepmother, Helen Daigle embraced the role of gold-digging aristocrat with the requisite haughtiness. Kateryna Sellers as the Dance Instructor/Godmother, as usual, did not disappoint. She was flirty and magical. The Prince (Bob Krieger) was fluid and convincing. The corps de ballet juggled multiple roles with excellent execution. Jumping between dance students, ball-goers, and a menagerie of animals – the costuming for which was incredible – had to have been exhausting, but I never would have guessed it. The joy on the dancers’ faces made it obvious that the entire cast was having a terrific time performing this ballet.
If this is a glimpse at the direction Louisville Ballet is headed, we balletomanes are in for a real treat.
A Cinderella Story
February 13-14, 2015
Kentucky Center for the Arts
501 West Broadway
Louisville, KY 40202
[box_light]Valerie Canon is an actor, director, dancer, model, and choreographer based in the Greater Louisville area. Mrs. Canon received her BFA in ballet performance from Oklahoma University in 2004, and has performed in ballets around the country as a principal, soloist, and corps de ballet member. She recently directed Broadway’s Greatest Love Songs: Unhindered and Ungendered, which premiered at the Kentucky Center for the Arts in January, 2015. [/box_light]