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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Looks like Cinderella Feels like Cinderella
I have always found the music of Cinderella as one of Prokofiev's fascinating compositions, although the general opinion decades ago was that it was more of a Children's thingy. The ballet too, was relegated to the realm of slapstick and in some cases, experimented with to the point of Eurotrashy type of approach.(I have had the Fredrick Ashton choreographed version...
Published on 7 Nov 2011 by Satish Kamath

versus
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A slice of soviet TV
Watching this ballet was much like watching Russian TV... probably. Certainly this is similar to other Russian ballet DVDs I've seen. The emphasis is very much on technique, with excellent dancing and a traditional interpretation, hampered slightly by dodgy visual effects. The gaudy colours and attractive costumes are bound to appeal to kids. Some of the shots were a bit...
Published on 2 April 2008 by D. Robinson


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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Looks like Cinderella Feels like Cinderella, 7 Nov 2011
By 
Satish Kamath (India) - See all my reviews
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I have always found the music of Cinderella as one of Prokofiev's fascinating compositions, although the general opinion decades ago was that it was more of a Children's thingy. The ballet too, was relegated to the realm of slapstick and in some cases, experimented with to the point of Eurotrashy type of approach.(I have had the Fredrick Ashton choreographed version starring Antoinette Sibley and Anthony Dowell for some time and enjoyed it tremendously - The Paris version disappointed horribly - The Monte Carlo version is Morose).

I would rate this one even better than the 1969 Royal Ballet production and many others for a few reasons:

1. Prokofiev's music points to a work that is complex. It is a mixture of fantasy, comedy, romance and quiet desperation. This production has less of slapstick and more of substance, quite unlike the Ashton production portrays in its approach.

2. There is some slapstick in this one too, but of the more subtle and difficult kind that Dumpy has brought out so well that she is really my star of this production....Skinny and stepmother are not too far behind...

3. They did not cast men as ugly sisters to make them look ugly. The ugliness brought out by Skinny (Gaylene Cummerfield) and Dumpy (Carol-Anne Millar) are those of their 'mind and attitude' - which makes them ugly rather than their physical attributes... The faulty footwork of Dumpy needs a lot of effort and work, and she has pulled it off brilliantly (Something like Alain in La Fille Mal Gardee)...Marion Tait as the stepmother is a wonderful actror which does a world of good for the ballet as a whole... her meanness is beautifully portrayed.

3.Elisha Willis dances the role of Cinderella and Iain Mackay portrays the Prince. Both are really good in their roles, nothing to complain....

4.Choreographer David Bintley shows far more maturity in his approach towards this work than any others I have seen. The sets, by John Macfarlane, are excellent and go well with the ballet and thankfully, they both have refrained from trying to make the ballet fit a different period and is thankfully devoid stuff and nonsense from the 22nd century or eurotrash. (The Paris version locates the story in Hollywood ...The Prince is a movie star and the Fairy Godmother a producer!)

5. The music is well performed and the recording and video are superb.

Well done, Birmingham... far better than was probably expected and certainly trumps most other productions of Cinderella by quite a few yards, although some music, therefore dance, has been deleted in this version. I did not miss those too much.

A Blu Ray that satisfies beautifully.... recommended highly.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An All Time Great., 26 Mar 2013
By 
H. A. Weedon "Mouser" (North Somercotes, Lincolnshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Cinderella [DVD] [2011] [NTSC] (DVD)
This performance is a brilliant example of how best to blend traditional expectations with modern inspirational qualities and I loved every minute of it, not least because it reinstates me within that magical world of childhood which, I have to confess, has never really left me. In the modern world it seems to me that children are deprived all too soon of their childhood sense of wonder. I simply loved the dancers dressed up as frogs, lizards, rats and mice. This kind of thing, along with the ugly sisters and much else besides was all so imaginative, and yet so realistic. The whole performance is a parody of how we all actually behave with our attitudinal machinations and social synchronising. Best of all, it causes us to laugh at ourselves and become truly happy.

Yes, that's what this scintillating dance performance of Cinderella is all about and I would not fault it in any way. If you're going to put on a performance, do it this way and create an all time great. That's why DVDs are such a wonderful invention. Now we can watch this inspiring performance over and over again whenever we feel like it. Here we have a strong, realistically, unsoppified portrayal of the relationship between Cinderella and Prince Charming, so admirably danced by Elisha Willis and Iain Mackay. In fact, all the dancers were first rate as they performed to the inspiring music of Sergei Prokofiev. The years pass and such great performances as this one recede further and further into the past. All I can say to that is: this one deserves to live forever.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Looks like Cinderella Feels like Cinderella, 9 Nov 2011
By 
Satish Kamath (India) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I have always found the music of Cinderella as one of Prokofiev's fascinating compositions, although the general opinion decades ago was that it was more of a Children's thingy. The ballet too, was relegated to the realm of slapstick and in some cases, experimented with to the point of Eurotrashy type of approach.(I have had the Fredrick Ashton choreographed version starring Antoinette Sibley and Anthony Dowell for some time and enjoyed it tremendously - The Paris version disappointed horribly - The Monte Carlo version is Morose).

I would rate this one even better than the 1969 Royal Ballet production and many others for a few reasons:

1. Prokofiev's music points to a work that is complex. It is a mixture of fantasy, comedy, romance and quiet desperation. This production has less of slapstick and more of substance, quite unlike the Ashton production portrays in its approach.

2. There is some slapstick in this one too, but of the more subtle and difficult kind that Dumpy has brought out so well that she is really my star of this production....Skinny and stepmother are not too far behind...

3. They did not cast men as ugly sisters to make them look ugly. The ugliness brought out by Skinny (Gaylene Cummerfield) and Dumpy (Carol-Anne Millar) are those of their 'mind and attitude' - which makes them ugly rather than their physical attributes... The faulty footwork of Dumpy needs a lot of effort and work, and she has pulled it off brilliantly (Something like Alain in La Fille Mal Gardee)...Marion Tait as the stepmother is a wonderful actror which does a world of good for the ballet as a whole... her meanness is beautifully portrayed.

3.Elisha Willis dances the role of Cinderella and Iain Mackay portrays the Prince. Both are really good in their roles, nothing to complain....

4.Choreographer David Bintley shows far more maturity in his approach towards this work than any others I have seen. The sets, by John Macfarlane, are excellent and go well with the ballet and thankfully, they both have refrained from trying to make the ballet fit a different period and is thankfully devoid stuff and nonsense from the 22nd century or eurotrash. (The Paris version locates the story in Hollywood ...The Prince is a movie star and the Fairy Godmother a producer!)

5. The music is well performed and the recording and video are superb.

Well done, Birmingham... far better than was probably expected and certainly trumps most other productions of Cinderella by quite a few yards, although some music, therefore dance, has been deleted in this version. I did not miss those too much.

A Blu Ray that satisfies beautifully.... recommended highly.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cinderella: Birmingham Royal Ballet., 23 Aug 2011
Ballet the Cinderella performed by this troupe very much was pleasant to me. Very interesting and original statement of ballet, magnificent execution by ballet dancers of the roles me has impressed. To it it is necessary to add very beautiful suits, scenery and fine sounding of an orchestra. Quality of a disk good, very beautiful colors and good contrast. I live in St.-Petersburg, often I go to the Maryinsky Theater, saw many different statements of ballet the Cinderella. Performance on this disk - one of the best what I saw. Very much it would be desirable to get and other works of this troupe. If there are disks with ballets Quixote, the Nutcracker, the Sleeping Beauty, Giselle and other performances performed by troupe Birminghaim Royal ballet, I with pleasure will take them for the collection. Once again thanks theater for magnificent work.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Piece of Heaven, 18 Oct 2011
This is everything you expect from the Royal Ballet. Casting was perfect, scenery and costumes alluring and the dancing just stunning! This is truly a magical and shimmering fantasy which was made even more magical by Cinderella vanishing at midnight through the mechanism of an amazing large clock, the glittering frosted coach brought on by the mice and lizards and the principle dancers, Elisha Willis and her prince Iain Mackay, was a feast for the eyes. The score by Porkofiev and David Bintley's choreography will sear through to your spirit and elevate you towards the heavenlies. Enjoy!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent new production but also recognisably traditional, 13 Feb 2012
By 
I. Giles (Argyll, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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Although this Cinderella is presented with new choreography by Bintley, the ballet could still be described as essentially the traditionally expected version. As such it will be very familiar to those who like the Cinderella story as related in most pantomimes.

Bintley's choreography has plenty of new ideas to present while remaining true to traditional expectations - a winning combination. There is clear humour in portraying the relationship between the two step sisters, Dumpy and Skinny, and their preparations for the ball with various attendants. The stepmother is suitably forbidding and together they combine to create constant unpleasantness for Cinderella without being unbearably cruel. Cinderella herself comes over as a pleasant but very ordinary girl where her own good nature wins through to the marriage of her dreams. The prince is presented as suitably elegant and attentively kind.

The dancing throughout is easily good enough to enjoy enormously and the key roles of Cinderella (Elisha Willis), the Prince (Iain MacKay), Dumpy and Skinny (Anne millar and Gaylene Cummerfield) are completely satisfying without exception and with much good humoured characterisation. Supporting roles are well done and the Corps de Ballet are also excellent with some very visually attractive supporting choreography. The staging is totally successful in creating both the dowdiness of Cinderella's home and the magical transformation in her fortunes.

There are two relevant press comments quoted on the cover and both are worth repeating as being accurate and as follows:

"This Cinderella is a theatrical banquet for the eyes" (The Telegraph)
"In ballet terms, this is a good Cinderella: as theatre, it is sensational" (Daily Express)

The recording values are good without perhaps scaling the heights of the recent productions by other labels such as Opus Arte, Decca or BelAir for example. Imaging is attentive to both detail and panoramic shots and the sound is presented in stereo or Dolby 5:1. I personally found it far more than adequate.

This is a strong visiting card for the Birmingham Ballet. For me it is by far the best of the current 'traditional' versions and offers both modern sound and widescreen to a most enjoyable production.

Overall therefore, and taking into account my previous minor comments about the recording comparisons as above, in my opinion this version from Birmingham is still well worth 5 stars for sheer entertainment and artistic values. Fresh and new while being essentially traditional - something to please everyone!

So overall therefore, the clear favourite for me is this version from Birmingham and well worth serious consideration as a purchase. Fresh and new while being essentially traditional - something to please everyone!

........................................

Some dialogue from the comments section that may offer further help:

Ian:
Thank you for recommending this Brilliant Ballet!
EVERYTHING works perfectly: Choreography, Videography(?) Dancing, Acting, Costumes, Sets, Special Effects, Prokofiev's Music, Koen Kessel's Conducting, Lots of Humour, and Fairy-Tale Magic... As you can imagine, it is hugely popular with my Retirement Home Audiences!!. (U.K. review)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At last - a good 'traditional' version in good sound and vision, 7 Nov 2011
By 
I. Giles (Argyll, Scotland) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Although this Cinderella is presented with new choreography by Bintley, the ballet could still be described as essentially the traditionally expected version. As such it will be very familiar to those who like the Cinderella story as related in most pantomimes.

Bintley's choreography has plenty of new ideas to present while remaining true to traditional expectations - a winning combination. There is clear humour in portraying the relationship between the two step sisters, Dumpy and Skinny, and their preparations for the ball with various attendants. The stepmother is suitably forbidding and together they combine to create constant unpleasantness for Cinderella without being unbearably cruel. Cinderella herself comes over as a pleasant but very ordinary girl where her own good nature wins through to the marriage of her dreams. The prince is presented as suitably elegant and attentively kind.

The dancing throughout is easily good enough to enjoy enormously and the key roles of Cinderella (Elisha Willis), the Prince (Iain MacKay), Dumpy and Skinny (Anne millar and Gaylene Cummerfield) are completely satisfying without exception and with much good humoured characterisation. Supporting roles are well done and the Corps de Ballet are also excellent with some very visually attractive supporting choreography. The staging is totally successful in creating both the dowdiness of Cinderella's home and the magical transformation in her fortunes.

There are two relevant press comments quoted on the cover and both are worth repeating as being accurate and as follows:
"This Cinderella is a theatrical banquet for the eyes" (The Telegraph)
"In ballet terms, this is a good Cinderella: as theatre, it is sensational" (Daily Express)

The recording values are good without perhaps scaling the heights of the recent productions by other labels such as Opus Arte, Decca or BelAir for example. Imaging is attentive to both detail and panoramic shots and the sound is presented in stereo or Dolby 5:1. I personally found it far more than adequate.

This is a strong visiting card for the Birmingham Ballet. For me it is by far the best of the current 'traditional' versions and offers both modern sound and widescreen to a most enjoyable production.

Overall therefore, and taking into account my previous minor comments about the recording comparisons as above, in my opinion this version from Birmingham is still well worth 5 stars for sheer entertainment and artistic values. Fresh and new while being essentially traditional - something to please everyone!

So overall therefore, the clear favourite for me is this version from Birmingham and well worth 5 stars in my opinion. Fresh and new while being essentially traditional - something to please everyone!
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 29 Sep 2011
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This review is from: Cinderella [DVD] [2011] [NTSC] (DVD)
Far better I believe than the usual type of ballet. This cuts out most of the boring applause every few twirls,
and is "acted" well too, the plump sister steals the comedy credits, they are all good in it I reckon, only
thing missing is the backstage extra shown on Tv which was interesting.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Check your DVD settings, 31 Jan 2009
Fabulous DVD but as we live in Greece it didn't work here. After a trip to the DVD shop though, they adjusted it to make it work!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cinderella, 16 Dec 2011
By 
Mr. F. Walton "francis76" (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Cinderella [DVD] [2011] [NTSC] (DVD)
This is a wonderful production of a well known Fairy Tale. Mostly of a dark nature but this production was very colourful Enjoyed it so very much
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Cinderella [DVD] [2011] [NTSC]
Cinderella [DVD] [2011] [NTSC] by David Bintley (DVD - 2011)
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