31 August 2012, 16:39

Russia's Mariinsky Theatre Brings "Cinderella" to Edinburgh

Russia's Mariinsky Theatre Brings "Cinderella" to Edinburgh

“Be prepared to be enchanted and to admire” – this message was sent out to the audience by the organizers of the Edinburgh International Festival, when they invited theatre goers to the ballet “Cinderella” staged by the St. Petersburg Mariinsky Theatre (August 30th to September 1st ).

Russian performers always take part in the Edinburgh International Festival, which is one of the oldest festivals in the world. The Mariinsky actors have been regularly visiting Scotland’s capital for 21 years now. Moreover, the Mariinsky Art Director and Chief Conductor Valery Gergiyev was put on the list of the festival’s honorary presidents last season. Saying this, the Director of the International Edinburgh Festival Jonathan Mills stressed that the Maestro was very popular among the festival’s audience.

The Mariinsky ballet troupe has brought Prokofiev’s ballet “Cinderella” to Edinburgh. This ballet has been a great success in the world for 10 years now. It is a modern version of the Russian choreographic classics of the 20th century created by Alexei Ratmansky. Ratmansky is currently in high demand in the world. He stages ballets not only in the Mariinsky Theatre but also in America and Europe. Critics say that “Cinderella” has proved his luck not only as a ballet master but also as a stage director. Addressing the classics, the choreographer wants all those who are sure that classical ballets have become outdated to change their minds. Alexei Ratmansky says:

"Many people think that ballets, especially classical ballets, can’t be linked to real life. And I think that this is wrong. I believe that all classical ballets that have survived are based on the plots that can be filled with serious content which people at all levels whose tastes vary too will be able to understand without any problem. Ratmansky’s Cinderella is a modern girl who before she turned into a princess danced in gaiters, tunic and a jacket. And we can see that she was not doing this very well. The point is that she had simply no time to practice dancing because she did dirty work at home. Cinderella’s god-mother - the Fairy - is a bit strange too. Her social status is not clear. She is not very neat and appears on stage in sports shoes, wearing sharovary (wide trousers) and a cap. Like in all ballets staged by Alexei Ratmansky, there is much humour and optimism in “Cinderella” that he has choreographed. His production of “Cinderella” enhances love not only towards Charles Perro’s fairy-tale and to its characters that are well known but also towards the music of Sergei Prokofiev."

By the way, the Russian music classic understood perfectly well that “Cinderella” was his good luck. That is why he composed 3 suites, basing them on his ballet’s music. All of them are regularly performed on the symphonic stage. Interesting enough, before going to the Edinburgh International Festival, Valery Gergiyev and his second group - London Symphony Orchestra – successfully played the “Cinderella” ballet music at the International Musical Festival “BBC Proms” in London, not as a suite but as a full-value concert which does not happen very often today. The audience of the royal Albert Hall in London was very happy that such a thing had occurred. Valery Gergiyev appeared on stage 5 times to the thunderous applause of his admirers.

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