Saturday, June 08, 2013

Ballet in the City - U.S. Premiere of Wheeldon's Cinderella at the San Francisco Ballet

SF Ballet Cinderella - Program bookCinderella is one of my favorite farytales so I was thrilled to learn that Program 8 of San Francisco Ballet's 2013 Season included Cinderella. I was also intrugued how this story would translate to a 2-hour ballet program because Cinderella is one of the shortest stories I've heard.

After seeing the U.S. premiere of Wheeldon's Cinderella at the San Francisco Ballet, I can now say Cinderella has also become one of my ballet favorites!

I saw Cinderella with my friends Mike, Dinah and Karen one day after the show's U.S. premiere at the San Francisco Ballet. We went to the Saturday afternoon show so we didn't have to dress up. Since Mijo was not joining us, I didn't see the point of putting extra effort to look dapper.

SF Ballet Cinderella - Lobby

Since we bought the tickets separately and I did not want to spend a lot, I ended up way up in the Balcony section, though I chose the first row which was not bad at all. Mike, Dinah and Karen were seating in better sections.

This was San Francisco Ballet's production of Christopher Wheeldon's Cinderella so I was expecting nothing less than amazing. But what made this performance different than the other SF Ballet's performances? It is visually stunning. I would say it had the same fantastical effect on me like seeing SF Ballet's production of The Nutcracker for the first time. The props, especially the big tree and Cinderella's carriage, were alive and magical. I wish I had pictures to show but taking pictures during the performance is prohibited. Even if I had photos, I didn't think they'll do the production set any justice. The big tree seemed to have leaves that moved and rustled with the wind.  I caught myself several times staring at the tree and not the dancers. Cinderella's carriage was also a huge surprise. It was a creative use of characters that doubled as props and costumes that flow with movement and wind. I don't think I've seen anything like it in any of the SF Ballet's programs. I truly loved it!

SF Ballet Cinderella - Orchestra

The performance had two 15 minute intermissions and included ten scenes. SF Ballet's principal dancer Maria Kochetkova's picture was the one in the program book so I assumed she was the main dancer for the role of Cinderella. Since we went to the Saturday afternoon show, we got a different set of dancers. They were amazing and perfect, nevertheless. Sarah Van Patten played Cinderella and Carlos Quenedit as Prince Guillaume.  I thought they had great chemistry together! I also enjoyed the comical twist Cinderella's step sisters added. Edwina was played by Dana Genshaft and Clementine was played by Clara Blanco. Benjamin, the friend of Prince Guillaume, was played by Myles Thatcher.

The orchestra did an amazing job too.  I wonder where I can get the music from this program? 

SF Ballet Cinderella - The End

I took a picture during the acknowledgement part before the curtains were lowered. :)
I hope SF Ballet performs Cinderella in the future because I'd definitely see it again.

The production ran from May 3, 2013 through May 12, 2013.


I just received a program book of SF Ballet's 2014 Repertory Season and I am happy to let you know that SF Ballet has included Cinderella as Program 4 which is scheduled to run from March 11, 2014 through March 23, 2014. Watch out for it.

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