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Cinderella – a ballet for all seasons

Cinderella may be the most popular ballet produced by the HCMC Ballet. Perhaps The Nutcracker rivals it, but that work is closely associated with Christmas. Cinderella, by contract, is a ballet for all seasons.

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cinderella – a ballet for all seasons hinh 0
Cinderella ballet will be performed by HBSO on April 13 and 14 - Photo: Courtesy of HBSO

And so it is that HBSO is mounting two more performances of this classic production, on April 13 and 14, at the Saigon Opera House.

The production is the work of Norwegian director Johanne Jakhelln Constant, who originally created it as part of the Transposition program by which Norway gave assistance to classical music generally in Vietnam. Constant’s assistant choreographer for Cinderella is Nguyen Phuc Hung.

Cinderella was composed by Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev, and was first performed at Moscow’s Bolshoi Theater in November 1945.

With a touching story and tuneful music, Prokofiev’s Cinderella has become, and remains, a world-wide favorite.

After the death of her mother and her father’s remarriage, Cinderella is living with her weak father, a step-mother and two tyrannizing step-sisters.

A ball is announced, and the two step-sisters, always comic figures, plan their dresses in the hope of attracting the attention of the Prince. An old woman then appears, and Cinderella gives her some slippers. When she returns, however, the old woman is revealed as a Fairy Godmother.

Cinderella will go to the ball too, dressed in a splendid outfit and wearing the slippers, now transformed into beautiful dancing shoes.

At the ball, Cinderella and the Prince dance together following the sisters’ absurd attempts to dance for him. But Cinderella’s transformation will only last until midnight, and when twelve strikes she flees the ballroom, leaving behind only a single shoe.

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Back home by the fire, Cinderella sweeps the floor. But then the Prince and attendants arrive, looking for the owner of the abandoned shoe. When they discover it is Cinderella’s the two are finally united, and destined to live happily ever after.

The part of Cinderella will be danced by Tran Hoang Yen, the Prince by Fukuda Hiroya, and the Fairy Godmother by Yuki Hiroshige.

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Tran Hoang Yen is a dance graduate from the Vocational Ballet School of HCMC and the Military University of Culture and Arts.

Five years ago she experienced pain in one knee and was advised by her doctor to stop dancing. But she found this impossible, and now is one of Vietnam’s leading dance performers.

She says that when she performs ballet she is led into a beautiful, fairy-like world.

Fukuda Hiroya is a choreographer and dancer with the National Ballet of Japan. He will be appearing in that company’s Dance to the Future 2019 at Tokyo’s New National Theater later this month, both as choreographer and dancer. In one item, ‘Format’, he will be the choreographer as well as the only solo dancer.

With performances on a Saturday and a Sunday, and Cinderella always a popular favorite, these two shows are likely to be close to fully-booked.

Tickets are from VND450,000 to VND900,000, with a special price for bona-fide students of VND150,000. The performances begin at 8 p.m.

Saigon Times

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