‘Cinderella’: A poetic production

Before the paparazzi chased Diana, before the world swooned over Kate’s royal wedding, there was Cinderella—the age old princess tale of a lost glass slipper and happily ever after. Last weekend, Dance Theatre of Tennessee (DTT) presented audiences with its version of Cinderella and the high-flying production resembled poetry in the air.

Although a technical difficulty prevented audiences from viewing the pre-show projections, as soon as the production started, it was evident that Cinderella would be enjoyed and well-received by the audience.  A few minutes into the first act, the theater displayed very few empty seats and the vision of DTT’s Artistic Director, Christopher Mohnani, began to enchant the audience as all eyes remained glued to the stage.

Cinderella was brilliantly played by Jennifer Drake. She thrilled the audience with graceful twirls, airy jumps and perfectly pointed feet.  In her role she became the shy, humble, compliant future princess that the storyline demanded.  Her performance, partnering with her prince Brian Williamson, mesmerized the audience and together, they danced with passionate elegance.

Other highlights from the show included Cinderella’s wicked stepsisters. The actors/dancers portraying the stepsisters were entertaining—sometimes outrageously so. They did not break character, keeping their shenanigans going for the duration of the two-hour program. Their dance style was appropriately congruent to the roles they played—ungraceful, clumsy and uncoordinated for most of the show.

Dillon Davis was also entertaining and unforgettable as the jester. There were several moments that laughter could be heard from the Girls Scout and Boys and Girls Club groups in the audience and Davis was responsible for most of those moments. 

Impressed by the court of young attendants, it was evident that they all worked very hard for this well-rehearsed production.  From the leads to the young fairies, they all danced well and rounded out a wonderful performance.

Cinderella’s display of strong artistic direction, technical dance ability, elegance, and entertainment was a treat for all who had the opportunity to be a part of Saturday night’s show. DTT once again shines in its ability to make the ballet relevant again.



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