I had yet to see a production of Cinderella and was quite thrilled when I snagged tickets to ABT’s rendition at Lincoln Center. After all, my favorite ballerina was headlining: Julie Kent.
But as I listened to the music of Sergi Prokofiev and the choreography of Frederick Ashton, even with Julie Kent dancing before me, I felt let down. The music and movements weren’t married, the varying quartets were out of sync amongs the seasonal fairies and the ending was quite anti-climactic despite knowing this tale as old as time.
But why? I wondered then if it was perhaps we, as a generation or as a human race, were over saturated with this particular, European folktale. After all, we had Disney’s Cinderella (both the cartoon in 1950 and the live action in 1997), Roger and Hammerstein’s rendition and Drew Barrymore in Ever After, which was a staple at many a sleepover.
As I watched Kent leap and turn on the stage, I half expected to see Whitney Houston appear and belt out “Impossible,” and Drew Barrymore to throw an apple at Marcelo Gomes, ABT’s prince.
Wherever my disappointment may stem from, I haven’t given up my ballet fandom. I’m extremely grateful that I have access to such esteemed ballet companies like American Ballet Theater and New York City Ballet at my doorstep. But now I’ll be a little bit more guarded as the lights dim and the golden curtains rush into the wings.