Cinderella's Evil "Stepsisters"
Last night, I saw American Ballet Theatre in Frederick Ashton’s Cinderella, a ballet that entered the company’s rep just this season. Of course, you’re at the theater to see the magical story of Cinderella and her prince unfold. And what magic it was! Julie Kent played an endearing, doe-eyed Cinderella and Marcelo Gomes was princely, as always. But in Ashton’s version, the evil stepsisters—men dressed to the nines in corsets and wigs—dare I say it, stole the show. Kenneth Easter and Thomas Forster were the humorous thread that kept the plot moving, from the ballet’s witty, subtle moments to its go-for-broke slapstick.
It may seem like playing a caricature-like character would be easy. But there’s much more nuance to these roles than perceived. (Not to mention the high heels involved.) In this Time Out New York Q&A, Gia Kourlas talks with ABT dancers Craig Salstein and Roman Zhurbin about the highlights and difficulties of the job.