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Cinderella - Birmingham Royal Ballet

4.2 out of 5 stars 54 customer reviews

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(Apr 26, 2011)
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Editorial Reviews

Award-winning choreographer David Bintley creates his own stunning new Cinderella fairy story, with an unsettling edge of darkness, reflecting Prokofiev's searing score.

Designer John Macfarlane conjures up a magical world to bring this much loved fairytale to life. He transforms the cold grey kitchen into a dreamlike fantasy, all magical and shimmering; the glittering coach, brought on by mice and lizards, gleams with frost; the ball scene is a feast of swirling decadence; and Cinderella vanishes at the stroke of midnight through the whirring mechanism of a simply amazing clock. The piece ends with a vast celestial body melting on to the stage.

Elisha Willis's forlorn Cinderella is brutally treated by her two bullying stepsisters in their grim kitchen, encouraged by their elegant but superbly cruel mother. The sisters tread a nimble line between comedy and nastiness, while never descending to caricature. Their raucous behavior, as they attempt to attract the attention of every eligible bachelor they see, is brought to life with hilariously faulty footwork. But the show is made truly heartwarming through the vision of Cinderella's suffering being transformed into deserved joy as she meets her Prince and lives happily ever after.

'This Cinderella is a theatrical banquet for the eyes' THE TELEGRAPH

' ...a potent, imaginative and emotionally intoxicating version of an oft-told tale' THE STAGE

' ...the real achievement is Bintley's, for uniting a 17th-century fairy tale and a bittersweet 20th-century score in a production of real emotional resonance' GUARDIAN

'In ballet terms, this is a good Cinderella; as theater, it is sensational' EXPRESS

Director and Choreographer: DAVID BINTLEY
Set and Costume Designer: JOHN F. MACFARLANE
Stage Lighting Design: DAVID A. FINN
Cinderella s Stepmother: MARION TAIT
The Fairy Godmother: VICTORIA MARR
Summer: LEI ZHAO

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Elisha Willis
  • Directors: David Bintley
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Classical, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Kultur Video
  • DVD Release Date: April 26, 2011
  • Run Time: 109 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004LXBKC4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,293 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By jack wilinsky VINE VOICE on May 8, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The Cinderella ballet is one of those ballets that takes many different forms in the hands of various choreographers. Take for example the variation from the Monte Carlo Ballet Cinderella to Nureyev's Paris Opera Ballet version: barely recognizable as the same ballet, except for the music. This Birmingham Royal Ballet version follows the traditional story with the focus on Cinderella, herself(pretty much an essential) and her two stepsisters. Here, the stepsisters are named Skinny and Dumpy. Dumpy wears a fat-suit. Both sisters dance on pointe and almost steal the show. They are given very aggressive, athletic choreography and pull it off with perfect technique and humor. They are about the funniest stepsisters I have seen in a Cinderella ballet. Cinderella is equally impressive. She dances barefoot except when she dresses up for the prince's ball, and then she dances on pointe. The shoe she leaves at the ball when she scurries off is a pointe shoe, similar to the Nureyev version. Included in this Cinderella are the dances of the four seasons, often left out of many productions. We also get lots of impressive dancing from the prince, and there is also the role of the ballet teacher. What is excluded? The role of Cinderella's father has been cut out with the exception of a very brief appearance in the prologue. After that, he is never seen, a rather unusual occurrence in this ballet. Also, the prince's search for Cinderella is not very extensive. He doesn't search in foreign lands, for example, and so there are no ethnic dances. There was only one moment that I found very strange. When the prince finally finds Cinderella he is, of course, very happy, but when he notices that she is dressed in tattered clothes, for a moment, he thinks perhaps he is making a mistake.Read more ›
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
There have been several performances of "Cinderella" available on disc, and I think they own them all. They have all had problems: poor production values, poor camera work (in the Frederick Ashton version), poor direction, etc. Thus, when I attended the Pacific Northwest Ballet's wonderful version last year, with Carla Körbes in the lead role, I thought that just maybe I would never see a better Cinderella. The person with whom I attended the PNB version still likes that one better, but I would have to go for this BRB blu-ray. The main reason is Elisha Willis. She is the ideal Cinderella. She really comes across very well as an "everygirl." Her acting is very convincing and not even all that stagy...which makes the way she lights up at the ball even more amazing. Anyone watching this production sympathetically, male or female, will kind of fall in love with Cinderella. And Willis's dancing is first class, worthy of any great ballet company. Iain Mackay as the Prince is adequate. I think he was picked mostly for his princely looks, but that's OK. Cinderella is the one who really matters.

The choreography is mostly perfect: a kind of abridged, playful, sometimes speeded up version of the more serious Petipa classicism. It makes the whole work seem like something of a ballet in miniature. In one of the Prince's solos, a few mazurka steps are added at the very end where you don't expect them, which adds a feeling of lightness. One of Cinderella's solos is something of a summary of one of Aurora's in Sleeping Beauty-which I don't take as plagiarism but rather as a clever tribute. It's as if Cinderella were Aurora's little sister.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
First of all, this is from 1961 and is a very fine example of the Russian cinema from that period. It is in color with beautiful camera work, special effects of the period, and great acting. The camera gives us many closeups to show facial reactions. The image and sound quality are very good and typical of movies from that period. If you have been spoiled by the technical perfection of image and sound quality of today's digital products, you may not want this. I have met many people that tell me they refuse to watch any of the older movies for this reason! I, for one, am very glad to have these classics available to me(as I was growing up, I only heard about classic movies, but could never see them!). The performance, itself, is quite good with very interesting choreography. All the female parts are danced on pointe, including the ugly sisters, the mother and even the fairy godmother. We are also given the fairies of the seasons here with solos for each of them. The famous ballerina, Yekaterina Maximova, dances the role of the Spring fairy. The Prince is played by Gennadi Lediakh and he gives a very impressive performance with some extremely challenging solo variations(his opening solo includes an eleven-turn pirouette!). This was the period at the Bolshoi that was strongly influenced by Asaf Messerer(Maya Plisetskaya's uncle) who helped bring the Bolshoi into the modern age of classical technique. Cinderella is danced by Raisa Struchkova and she shows us a very convincing and spirited character. Keeping in mind that this is from a bygone era, I highly recommend it!
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