Happily Ever After | Central West brings back Cinderella
Cinderella is a ballet that traditionally includes many fairy characters in the Ashton style. The Season Fairies were well cast in the 2011 version, with some highly commendable performances by individuals. The Spring fairy was danced in turn by Gabrielle Barton, Kylie Welch and Noelle Im. Barton was in great fairy shape, enthusiastically dancing with a fresh allure. Welch was beautiful and strong as the Spring, showing experience and a rhythmic precision that was wonderful to see. Welch has gained ground as a soloist and her 2010-2011 Season has been her best yet. Newcomer Noelle Im displayed a remarkable command of the stage, giving the Spring technical proficiency and pristine classical form. Already a young professional, Im is poised to be a talent to reckon with in Central West's family of dancers. The Summer Fairy was brought to the stage by Alyssa Milano, Gabrielle Barton and Adelina Milano. Alyssa Milano's Summer Fairy was handled with Milano's perennial statuesque quality and her great sense of musicality. With instinct and beauty, she moved around the stage in a summer like leisure. Barton gave the role a sharper edge while Adelina Milano approached the role in a more fragile and sensitive way. The fierce role of the Autumn Fairy fell in the capable hands of Rachel Sponder and Alex Vella. Sponder, making a return to the role, filled the stage with tempestuous movements and superb dancing. Sponder's legacy of professionalism and attention to detail was at its most proficient for this Season's closing show. Alex Vella danced what was arguably her very best performance, with strength and vitality. Vella's technique finally came together, showing her potential as a unique stage artist. The Winter Fairy was danced by Sarah Weaver, Elease Stice and Liana Yates. Weaver's beautiful lines matched the choreographic approach of the variation. Her slender built provided a pleasing look and her technique was strong. Stice brought to the role her rich movement quality along with physical strength and aplomb. Here again, Stice showed superb technical ability and stage appeal, showing off Daveluy's choreography to perfection. The majestic feel of the Winter Fairy solo next resided into the artistic hands of Liana Yates, who rendered the role with all the imagination required. Her sharp poses and accentuated movements, her timing and expression have never been so well served. Yates proved that her talents are equalled by her passion for the craft.
The addition of Midnight Fairy Corps de Ballet and Soloists in this version of Cinderella came together in a much clearer way than the previous incarnation. Daveluy's idea of these unique fairies were better dressed, with appropriate wings and elaborate make-up giving the characters a distinct mysterious look. The Corps de Ballet was strong and precise, handling difficult choreographic passages with unity. The Midnight Fairy Soloists were fiercer and technically more proficient, giving the show great variety.
The opening of Act 2 introduced the role of the Jester. Danced with panache by Brian Leonard, the Jester added a key element of colorful excitement. With multiple pirouettes and splendid lines, Leonard moved about the stage with ease. Leonard, who has had a full year as a soloist, carries his presence on stage with nobility and pleasing lines. Saturday's Jester, Nathan Champion, showed great skilled in tackling the acrobatics in the Jester's arsenal of tricks. Champion produced a showstopping performance and also rounded is exits and entrances with quality and flowing movements.
Some entertaining dances by Midnight Fairy Leads and the Dancing Master and Jester gave the Ballroom Scene a unique appeal. Liana Yates, Erikka Reenstierna-Cates, Kylie Welch and Alex Vella all turned in wonderful performances. Through the weekend, Rachel Sponder, Nicole Firpo, Alyssa Milano and Adelina Milano turned in beautiful performances. Brian Leonard and Nathan Champion kept these dances exciting and on high technical levels.
The Act 2 and Act 3 Pas de Deux with Cinderella and her Prince was a delight to see by all Casts. The pairing of Firpo and Phelps was prodigious in lines and power, Weaver and Adkins showed expertise and passion, and Milano and Phelps showed flair and innate musicality.
This last production by René Daveluy deserves applaud for its ingenuity in adaptation and original dancing. With seven years at the helm of Central West, Daveluy's legacy remains in making it possible for Modesto to see a local professional ballet company take place at the Gallo Center for the Arts. One hopes that his efforts will flourish into the creation of a full fledge professional ballet company to serve the Central Valley's growing cultural community.
Cinderella 2011 - Full Review Part 2 By CWB OFFICE
RENÉ DAVELUY ~ ARTISTIC DIRECTOR