Friday, January 29, 2010

'Cinderella' welcomes toddler to the ball

There's something truly special, as a mother, about taking your daughter to the ballet.

And for CC's first visit, she got to experience a magical one -- the Joffrey Ballet's production of "Cinderella" at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.

As an added bonus, she was even complimented on her behavior by the brave woman sitting next to us last night.

"She was wonderful," the woman remarked multiple times.

And she was. For a toddler who had stayed up way past her bedtime, CC was engaged, wowed, a little scared at the beginning (dark rooms and ugly stepsisters can do that sometimes), but her eyes rarely left the stage.

"Where's Cinderella?" she asked when the title character was in the wings. "Where's the fairy godmother?" Her eyes even lit up when the working coach arrived on stage.

It was great to see.

Kudos to the production for that. Sir Frederick Ashton's "Cinderella" as a ballet, with a score from Sergei Prokiev, is gorgeous and visually stunning, particularly the scenes during the ball. Not only is the stage transformed into a golden royal palace, but Cinderella's grand entrance (played by Victoria Jaiani, in the above photo) is breathtaking.

The first act features the bumbling, gender-bending stepsisters -- who were played by men (David Gombert, Michael Smith), a clever touch by the company. They were large, appropriately self-centered, and fun to watch.

The jester (Derrick Agnoletti) was another highlight. There were ooh's and ahh's from the people around us, as he bounced in the air, his legs stretched straight out. It was as if he had his own invisible trampoline.

The fairy godmother and her attendant fairies and stars were also lovely.

But the stunner was Cinderella. As she danced with her prince, her toes pointed onto the stage, Jaiani reminded the audience of -- and introduced CC to -- the grace and craft that is the magic of ballet.

The Joffrey Ballet
Dorothy Chandler Pavilion
135 N. Grand Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Friday, Jan. 29 – 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 30 – 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, Jan. 31– 2:00 p.m.

$30-$120 (

The Princess Project is accepting new or "nearly new" formal dresses and accessories in the Music Center Plaza during the production of "Cinderella."

According to the Music Center Web site: "The Princess Project, along with representatives from The Glass Slipper Project, will be on hand to collect donations that will be distributed to high school girls who could not otherwise afford their own formal prom attire. Donations are open to the public, there are no costs to donate and no need to have a performance ticket to participate."

Photo courtesy of The Joffrey Ballet; press tickets provided

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