By: Chan Sze Wei & Valerie Oliveiro
After a strong showing with last December’s Nutcracker, Singapore Dance Theatre (SDT) brings us Cinderella, which will be showing at the Esplanade from 6-8 March.
Are you hesitating because you had a great time with Lea Salonga’s Cinderella musical in January? ArtZine assures you that the SDT production is something else. Graham Lustig’s whimsically modern take on the Prokofiev score has the Singaporean Cinderella as a dreamy domestic helper mopping floors in a high-rise flat, yearning for a classy prince in a hi-tech glass mansion. Last performed here in 2004, this ballet was exuberant and heart-warming. With all the gloomy news of late, it’s nice to be reminded that even when times are tough, love can conquer all.
Chihiro Uchida, whom we last met in The Nutcracker, leaps beautifully into multiple roles in Cinderella. “My first role is in the Dance of Spring and of a temple dancer while performing as Cinderella on Sunday,” she explains. She goes on to describe the Dance of Spring as “a joyful dance, as if the cherry trees are about to blossom. The music and steps are very fast and crisp. The Temple dance is like an Indian Dance where I will be carried above the shoulders of four male dancers throughout the dance.”
It must be every girl’s dream to be a Princess! Chihiro, too, confesses that she loves the story of Cinderella. “I really do enjoy being Cinderella!” she exclaims.
Janek Schergen, on his new appointment as Artistic Director of SDT, shares about the challenges and changes in the company. “(The new role) has been very fulfilling with the restaging of Cinderella from Graham Lustig, plus I teach morning company class three times a week.
Sze recalls Janek’s comment in the Straits Times last month that one of SDT’s strategies for weathering the downturn would be to trim the budget by restaging works already in SDT’s repertory. How will the company ensure that familiar pieces such as Cinderella and Swan Lake remain fresh and appeal to audiences? Will SDT be affected by the recession in other ways?
“One cannot experience all that the classics have to offer like Swan Lake or Giselle with one viewing. There is always something more to be gained in repeated performances of any ballet. As casts change, you see dancers in new roles as they take on more maturity as artist. How many ways the recession will affect us is anyone’s guess but of course it will,” he replies.
Venue: Esplanade Theatre
Timings : 6 to 7 March, 8pm &
8 March, 3pm
Ticket prices: $138 (VIP Box), $108, $88, $68, $48
Tickets are available at SISTIC.