Cinderella was seen like never before last night at 7:30 in McCain Auditorium. The performance series brought the Moscow Festival Ballet to entertain the 876 attendees.
The ballet had three acts.
Act I took place in Cinderella’s house, where the tale of Cinderella starts. The Father was unable to cope with Cinderella looking like her mother. The Stepmother commanded Cinderella to clean her room, while the Two Ugly Sisters teased her then made preparations for the Palace Ball. Upon their departure, the Fairy Godmother comes in and after making magical changes – voila! – Cinderella has a beautiful dress, glass slippers and a ride to the Palace Ball.
Act II took place at the Palace. This is where all the women of Cinderella’s step-family fight for the Prince’s attention, though Cinderella is the one who wins it. They dance the night away and fall in love, but the clock strikes midnight and Cinderella skedaddles out of there, leaving behind a glass slipper. The Prince picks it up.
During the following intermission, Carolyn Tolliver-Lee, resident of Junction City and K-State alumnus, expressed her feelings about the show, saying she had never been to a ballet before, so she saw this as an opportunity to cross something off the bucket list.
“I had to go back and read a synopsis of Cinderella,” Tolliver-Lee admitted. “It has been so long, but I love the arts and have been watching stuff here and at Nichols for 25 years. This was great.”
For Act III, the cast returned to complete the ballet at Cinderella’s house. In search of the owner of the glass slipper, the Prince has the Stepmother and her daughters try the shoe on. As much as they try, the slipper does not fit. Then the Prince notices Cinderella and wants her to try on the shoe. When its match falls out of her pocket, the Prince asks for Cinderella’s hand in marriage and she becomes Princess, forgiving her Stepmother and sisters for their wrongdoings.
Through the art of dance, this classic story came to life. Cinderella was played by Marianna Chemalina and by Maria Klueva. The Prince was played by Ruslan Mukhambetkaliev and Alexandr Daev.
Surprising to the audience, but loved by the facial expressions provided, the Stepmother was played by two men, Alexandr Daev and Evgeny Rudakov, the entire show.
Keely Kridner, a child attending the show with Caroline Kridner, senior in psychology, laughed each time they danced on stage. She said the ballet was really good.
“I liked the ugly step-sisters when they were acting funny,” Kridner said. “That’s it.”
Jorge Mendoza, senior in biology, also felt it was really good, but had a suggestion.
“At the beginning of each scene, they should tell the audience what it is about,” he said. “Other than that, it was really good. I was amazed by the flexibility.”
Because it was a ballet and not a play, some aspects of Cinderella were different and confused the audience. Tolliver-Lee did not realize a man, Tolev Mukanov, represented the clock in the traditional story. She was expecting a clock to drop down during the Palace Ball, not Mukanov doing a jump kick to resemble the strike of midnight on the clock. She also did not understand men carrying Cinderella on their shoulders was equivalent to her coach and horse, in place of an actual pumpkin transformation.
Drifting smoke, gorgeous costumes and the bouncing of flat feet rising to tiptoes captivated a silent crowd. The cast received a standing ovation.
And for the record, the only thing bulging on those men in tights were their incredible strong leg muscles.