Dorothée Gilbert and Hugo Marchand in Cinderella

Dorothée Gilbert and Hugo Marchand in Cinderella duet, music by Sergei Prokofiev, choreography by Rudolf Nureyev. Stars of Benois de la Danse 2015 – Laureates of Different Years, shot on 27.5.2015 in the Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow.

Dorothée Gilbert and Hugo Marchand in Cinderella

Dorothée Gilbert and Hugo Marchand in Cinderella

Dorothée Gilbert and Hugo Marchand in Cinderella

Dorothée Gilbert and Hugo Marchand in Cinderella

Dorothèe Gilbert is french ballerina, Etoile with Paris Opera Ballet. She was born 1983 and trained 1990-1995 Toulouse National Conservatoire; 1995-2000 Paris Opéra Ballet School. In 2000 she joins the Corps de Ballet of the Paris Opera; 2002 Promoted to Coryphée; 2004 Promoted to Sujet; 2005 Promoted to Première Danseuse; 2007 Nominated Etoile after a performance of Nutcracker (Nureyev) on 19 November.

Hugo Marchand is currentry Coryphee with Opéra national de Paris, August 2011 to present. He studied at Ecole de danse de l’Opéra de Paris.

Cinderella (Russian: Золушка, Zolushka) Op. 87, is a ballet composed by Sergei Prokofiev to a scenario by Nikolai Volkov. It is one of his most popular and melodious compositions, and has inspired a great many choreographers since its inception. The piece was composed between 1940 and 1944. Part way through writing it Prokofiev broke off to write his opera War and Peace. The premiere of Cinderella was conducted by Yuri Fayer on November 21, 1945 at the Bolshoi Theatre, with choreography by Rostislav Zakharov and Galina Ulanova in the title role. Cinderella (or Cendrillon) is notable for its jubilant music, lush scenery, and for the comic double-roles of the stepsisters (which can be performed in travesti), more mad than bad in this treatment.

Rudolf Nureyev, aided and abetted by set designer, Petrika Ionesco, had a lot of fun adapting the story of Cinderella to the world of Hollywood in the 1930s: discovered by a film producer, the modest young girl, escaping from an alcoholic father and a wicked stepmother, makes her film debut, capturing the heart of the leading actor on the way. The dancers, beginning with Nureyev himself, had more or less followed the same path as this modern-day Cinderella, making this “engineering of a ballet within a ballet” a tremendous declaration of love for the cinema and the theatre; none but they are capable of transfiguring individuals, and the dance, and in particular, of managing to sublimate the ordinary. Enriching it with Freudian connotations, Nureyev always altered the course of the story in his own ballets, and even in those whose subject and choreography he borrowed from Petipa, handed down as they were in true Kirov tradition. And so, in Cinderella we find several of his favourite themes: the desire to escape from the harsh realities of life, the initiatory dream, the real world that merges with an imaginary one, the art as fulfilment of the dream become reality.

Photos by Jack Devant Ballet Photography with kind permission of the Benois de la Danse and Bolshoi Theatre Moscow, special thanks to Nina Kudriavtseva-Loory, Regina Nikiforova and Denis Savchenko. 

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