Friday, January 20,2011: Culture Cross-training

Culture Cross-Training
One Classic Story, Two Classy Versions

Elisha Willis as Cinderella in the Birmingham Royal Ballet production

You have an interesting opportunity for some culture cross-training this weekend. The Birmingham Royal Ballet will present Cinderella in selected movie theatres in several cities in the Czech Republic.

The HD (high definition) showing will air in Prague at the Radotín theatre on Jan 22, and the Atlas on Jan 23.

And you can play “spot the differences” with the National Theatre Ballet’s production of Cinderella (Popelka) which premiered last April. In case you missed it then, it’s also scheduled to be reprised live for two performances at the National Theatre on Feb 26.

The National Theatre Ballet's Cinderella

Both productions use music by Sergei Prokofiev, but the choreography for the Birmingham’s film version is by David Bintley, and the National Theatre’s by the Monte-Carlo Ballet’s Jean-Christophe Maillot. The English production features sets and costumes by John Macfarlen, according to the design by the Czech Republic’s own Jiří Kylián; the Czech production’s sets are by Ernest Pignon-Ernest, with costumes by Jérôme Kaplan.

The National Theatre’s Cinderella contains virtuoso dancing, of course, but also a “story-within-a-story” framework, and lots of humor, pantomime, and acting. The Birmingham’s Cinderella is described by its host, Aero Balet, as continuing the classic English style of dance. That hints at one of the major differences between the two versions; to verify that, you’ll just have to see them both for yourself. — oo

– Mary Matz

You can read our earlier interview with The National Theatre Ballet’s Cinderella by clicking here: Cinderella.

You can read about the choreography by clicking here: Choreography.

Photo Credits: Top: Aero Balet; bottom, Pavel Hejný, The National Theatre Ballet

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