Breaking with tradition in theatre is a tradition in itself, from Matthew Bourne’s all-male Swan Lake, right up to next year’s West End production of The Picture of Dorian Gray performed by Sarah Snook. This year, Scottish Ballet aims to surprise and delight audiences, as on some nights the lead character of Cinders will be a woman, swept off her feet by her Prince, and on others, Cinders will be a man, swept off his feet by his Princess! Audiences will discover which ‘Cinders’ they will experience on the night when the curtain rises.
Set at the turn of the 20th century in Cinders’ family-run emporium, life is sweet until tragedy strikes, leaving Cinders an orphan. Enter the new proprietor, Mrs. Thorne, an intimidating mother of three ghastly children. Treating Cinders with contempt, they turn the store into a garish version of its former self. When the Royal Ball is announced, hilarity, excitement and chaos ensue as the Thorne family begin their frenzied preparations to attend. Taking refuge in an enchanted rose garden, Cinders is magically spun into a vision of sophistication and beauty, worthy of charming everyone at the ball. As the story of Cinders and the Thornes unfolds, who will get their fairytale ending?
Choreographed by Christopher Hampson and designed by Elin Steele, with Prokofiev’s irresistibly rich score performed live by the Scottish Ballet Orchestra, Cinders will be everything audiences adore about the enchanted fairytale – made sparkling, fresh and new.
Scottish Ballet Artistic Director/CEO Christopher Hampson said:
“I’m delighted to be bringing this fresh approach to such a well-known fairy tale. I have always believed Prokofiev essentially composed a love story, yet full of wit and humour, which underpins this new production. I’m enjoying the playfulness of searching for who guides the narrative and who drives the dream. Collaborating with Elin Steele and the ever-adventurous dancers; we are coming together to deliver a classic Cinders for today.”
Guest Principal Dancer Jessica Fyfe said:
“Working with Christopher Hampson on his new Cinders for me personally has been very exhilarating. To give this new fluidity to the leading roles means exploring ways in which the character Cinders, traditionally the ‘poor’ Cinderella, can be a person of grit, determination and strength, which ultimately leads to them creating their own happy ending. I hope the audience enjoys this new twist on a beautiful classic, which now highlights how anyone can have a hand at shaping their own future. It’s not just for fairytales.” Scottish Ballet Principal Dancer Bruno Michiardi said:
“What I’ve found most interesting about swapping the roles of the Cinders leads is just how different and new it’s made the ballet feel. We all know and love the classic story of Cinderella, but this new version means we’re suddenly working in this amazing upside-down realm, where the male part (previously a more traditionally stoic character) is a complex mixture of vulnerability and resilience, and the female role (usually quite timid and downtrodden for most of the original ballet) is empowered and full of charisma… I’m excited at the prospect of exploring this further and sharing that with the audience!”