• Julia Sumzina

Ciderella by Rudolf Nureyev. Opéra national de Paris

The series of reviews on the shows by Paris Opera Ballet available for audience during the quarantine time is continuing. Today I want to tell you about Cinderella (or Cendrillon) in Rudolf Nureyev's version filmed on 31 December 2018. This show was last performance of Karl Paquette as the dancer of Paris Opera Ballet. Now you can watch it thanks to www.operadeparis.fr and France TV.


First of all we should remember that Rudolf Nureyev was not only the ballet icon of the second half of XX century, but the legendary choreographer who made his own very bright and special versions of such ballets as Sleeping Beauty, Romeo and Juliet, La Bayadère, Swan Lake, the ballets he danced as a young man in Kirov (now - Mariinsky) Ballet. His Cinderella is adapted by him and Petrika Ionesco to the world of Hollywood in the 1930s: the humble young girl, with the help of a film producer, escaped from an alcohol addicted father and a wicked stepmother, made her film debut, conquering the heart of the leading actor. There are not fairies, princesses and princes in this story, but we can feel the fairy tale of the Hollywood Dream, the fairy tale of XX century.

“The ballet Cinderella has become a cinematic dream. A dream of a white dress, slightly tinged with pink to pay tribute to innocence, and a touch of glitter because Cinderella is a character from today’s world, she only dreams of one thing: of becoming a star. So, in my version of Cinderella, the good fairy is transformed into a film producer, the only person in modern-day mythology capable, through the magic of his art, of transforming a pumpkin into the coachwork of a car.” ~ Rudolf Nureyev, 1986 Valentine Colasante as Cinderella, Karl Paquette (Leading actor) , Aurélien Houette (Stepmother), Ludmila Pagliero and Dorothée Gilbert (two sisters), Pierre Rétif (Father) made this Hollywood dream come true on the stage of Opera Bastille. Sparkling, shining, colorful, this ballet looks like a marvelous film from the Classic Hollywood epoch, making the audience look back to the time when Sergei Prokofiev created his Cinderella (1940 – 1944) after his returning to the USSR in 1927.

“The era is that of the 1930s and 1940s. This was a time in the life of Prokofiev, where back in his country, the USSR, he was experiencing a secret nostalgia for the West. Cinderella is not very Russian. It is even the most westernized thing that he produced. Not only the music sets the style, but the dances do not embody the context. It is this disembodiment that we wanted to convey, by adapting the fairy story to the film world”. ~ Rudolf Nureyev



Text: Julia Sumzina, @js_artsreview

Photos: Yonathan Kellerman, OnP

Video: Opéra national de Paris

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