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Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo’s barefoot heroine ‘Cinderella’ to perform in Korea

Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo will perform “Cinderella” from June 12-14 at the Seoul Arts Center, the first time the company is performing in Korea in 14 years.

“Cinderella” is one of the iconic choreographic works produced by the ballet company’s longtime director Jean-Christophe Maillot, who has produced more than 30 ballets for the company, including “Vers un Pays Sage (1995), “Romeo and Juliette” (1996), “The Sleeping Beauty” (2001), “Le Songe” (2005), “Altro Canto” (2006), “Faust” (2007) and “LAC” (2011). 

Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo’s “Cinderella” (Mastmedia)
Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo’s “Cinderella” (Mastmedia)

Maillot’s “Cinderella” (1999) is known for completely reinventing classical ballet.

Rather than the love story arc, Maillot’s “Cinderella” focuses on the psychology of the characters, not only that of Cinderella but also of the heroine’s late mother, who returns to her daughter as a fairy with a striking resemblance.

Maillot’s rendition of the Cinderella story also omits the usual trappings of typically lavish “Cinderella” productions, such as the fireplace, a pumpkin that turns into a carriage, and a mouse becoming a seamstress. Moreover, the beloved heroine dances to Serge Prokofiev’s score without glass slippers.

Instead of extravagant props and sets, Maillot’s production of the fairy tale comes with designer Ernest Pignon-Ernest’s sleek white set with movable walls.

A special treat for local balletgoers will be ballerino An Jae-yong’s performance. Born in 1992, An is a Korean ballerino who joined Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo in 2016. He was promoted to principal dancer at the ballet company in the summer of 2018. 

By Shim Woo-hyun
Korea Herald Youtube