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We are talking “Cinderella,” Ben Stevenson’s first full-length ballet and the first one he created in this country after having moved here from his native England. In its Ballet San Jose company premiere, this full-evening production — on loan from American Ballet Theatre — will wave its crooked magic wand at the San Jose Center for the Performing Arts through Sunday. And, even with all its faults, may it return soon. In his career, Stevenson would go on to create other story ballets, from the poignant “Snow Maiden” to the spectacular “Dracula.” But “Cinderella” is by far his most popular work, in constant demand around the world — even though it’s not his best endeavor purple pointe shoes uk online. The choreography is often threadbare, the humor crude and the magic too often but a momentary glimpse of what could be..
So why do we still love this story of a dysfunctional family and their much-abused daughter? Perhaps it’s because we know the tale so well, and we like the idea about virtue being rewarded. But perhaps it’s also that narrative ballets have a pull on our imagination as no other form of dance has. In the case of Ballet San Jose’s version, which opened Friday, the credit has to go to Alexsandra Meijer, about as perfect a Cinderella as you are likely to see purple pointe shoes uk online. This longtime company member gave a glorious, fully integrated and nuanced performance..
Each detail was in place. She is at the top of her form, both technically and emotionally, and you couldn’t take your eyes off her every thrilling moment whether in the small gestures of responding to her canary, dreamily recalling her big night or spunkily straightening out the family dynamics. Throughout, Meijer danced expansively and generously purple pointe shoes uk online. She soared in her Prince’s arms, whipped through dizzying turns and delicately beat her feet in fluttering-heart moments. As a tall ballerina, Meijer is difficult to partner, and she deserved a great Prince Charming. Though he reliably partnered her in those fiendishly intricate lifts that Stevenson likes to throw at his dancers, guest artist Sascha Radetsky — who danced the role Friday and Saturday nights — was not it..
While the Santa Cruz native, now a soloist with ABT, impressed with fine elevation, pristine footwork and that all-essential ability of rounding off phrases with on the dot finishes, he was a dutiful and somewhat stolid Prince, lacking in the charm department. The temporary match highlighted the difficulty of bringing in guest artists who have little time to establish a meaningful partnership with a company member, no matter how distinguished each of them is. Maximo Califano and Ramon Moreno periodically brought down the house as the stepsisters in drag purple pointe shoes uk online. In ballet it’s politely called en travesty, and you are supposed to show real femininity. Not with Stevenson..
In San Jose’s production of Bournonville’s “The Toreador” four years ago, the duo proved themselves brilliant comedians. The fact that here the music-hall inspired physical humor of pratfalls, kicks and stumbles were so much on one note cannot be blamed on them. That’s what Stevenson wants. The single instant of real wit came in their attempting ballet steps for the Prince. The variations for the Seasons were choreographically modest but received fine interpretations, particularly from Amy Marie Briones as the Autumn and Shannon Bynum as the Fairy of Winter. Another scene-stealer came from Akira Takahashi’s high-flying Jester purple pointe shoes uk online. His splits in the air seemed to get higher and longer as the evening progressed..