Cape Town City Ballet’s staging of Cinderella at the Artscape Theatre is a magical and fun production, perfect for the festive season. Veronica Paeper’s choreography picks up on the nuances of Prokofiev’s famous score, retelling the iconic story with clarity, beauty and humour with the movement of each character perfectly portraying their individual personae. From the light and dreamy quality of Cinderella, to the lively Spring Fairy and crisp, swirling Autumn Fairy or the continually bouncing Jester, each character is uniquely recognisable and superbly sustained by the dancers.
Laura Bosenberg is faultless in the title role, beautifully encapsulating the youthful innocence and joy of Cinderella. And the partnership with Thomas Thorne as her Prince Charming is as strong as ever with their effortless pas de deux being performed with great technical proficiency. In fact, the performance of the entire cast is tight and together with the corps de ballet’s synchronicity during the ballroom scenes taking the performance to a higher level, enhancing the patterns of the choreography and making it a joy to watch.
On every level the production is a visual feast: the colourful tutus and period costumes, the over-sized props, and the detailed backdrops which not only set the scene for the story, but in the case of the glittering white fairy garden, add some magic. The most colour however is brought by the ugly sisters played by Jonny Bovang and Ivan Boonzaaier who steal the show with their comical characterizations. Their ungraceful physicality and slapstick delight the children in the audience while their facial expressions and attitudes entertain adults alike. I have never heard an audience laugh so much during a ballet as while these two were up to their mischief.
The production of Cinderella is a great show for anyone to watch, and ticks all the boxes for the festive season with magical visuals, beautiful dancing, light-hearted comedy and, of course, a happy ending.
Cape Town City Ballet’s Cinderella runs at the Artscape Theatre, Cape Town, 19 December 2014 to 10 January 2015.