Les Grandes Ballets Canadiens De Montreal

By Howe-Beck | Dance Magazine, March 2004 | Go to article overview

Les Grandes Ballets Canadiens De Montreal


Howe-Beck, Dance Magazine


THEATRE MAISONNEUVE, PLACE DES ARTS, MONTREAL, QUEBEC, CANADA OCTOBER 16-25, 2003

LES GRANDS Ballets Canadiens de Montreal's new, revisionist version of Cinderella, with its pungent character roles, is both exhilarating and frustrating. Commissioned from Belgian choreographer and set designer Stijn Cells, it's a thoughtful treatise about personal growth. The heroine is a modern woman who misses the love of her mother. Her father, a cipher who clings to happy family memories, has remarried a harridan with two daughters, an insensitive, klutzy trio whose antics give new meaning to dance comedy. Hilariously performed by three hunched and preening men, they cavort awkwardly throughout two acts, turning up in dreams and nightmares. The Prince heads an artificial society.

Prokofiev's bruised score and the Cinderella story provide starting points into Celle qui, dit-on, aurait perdu sa chaussure (Cendrillon), a mouthful of a title that means "Rumor has it she lost her shoe (Cinderella)." Spliced with silences and even a lengthy piece of performance art, Celi's vision is light-years away from classical ballet. With the exception of the dead Mother, an icy creature more marionette than magical godmother, nobody is on pointe. Bent like vultures, and with limbs akimbo, the dancers perform barefoot or in heavy shoes.

Using a lurching, off-axis, angular vocabulary, Cells portrays Cinderella and her natural parents as innocents in a decadent society. …

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