Memories of the Mother and Father (pas de deux) – The Mother’s death – Cinderella (solo) – Cinderella and her Father (pas de deux)
Cinderella, from the depths of her solitude, lets herself be invaded by the memories of her Mother and her Father, the image of lost family happiness and love. A shared anguish—conjured up from this dream, or actual presence—remains with the child and her Father.
The Stepmother – The Father – Cinderella – The Sisters – Entrance of the Pleasure Superintendents – Fight between the Sisters – Entrance of the Fairy: Invitation to the ball
Cinderella, holding in her arms the dress her Mother was wearing for her last ball, remains pensive. Her Father, in light of his new family, is not quite the same. Distressed, he hesitates between the desire to protect her and the submission to his new wife. Cinderella, with her Stepmother and her Stepsisters, discovers the violence of power struggles, rejection, ill will, and tyrannical gestures. A strange messenger comes to put an end to the two Sisters’ quarrels: She brings an invitation from the Prince for the court ball. The Pleasure Superintendents, beauty experts, are ready to officiate.
Clothing: The Stepmother – The Father – Cinderella – The Sisters – The Pleasure Superintendents – The four Mannequins
Whimsical characters, the Pleasure Superintendents are the foremen of the festivities. They bring the ball dresses, exhibited on four Mannequins, half-human, half-mechanical figures, half-masked, giving the impression of a fashion show. The Sisters and the Stepmother take great care with their faces. In their impatience and greed, they rush to grab the dresses, only take half of them, and look at themselves in rapture in front of large, distorting mirrors. Cinderella becomes aware of the invitation, but her new family makes fun of her and sends her back to her lentil dish. The Sisters and Stepmother go to the ball, satisfied.
ENTRANCE OF PRINCE CHARMING
The Prince and his four Friends – The Pleasure Superintendents
The young, charming Prince appears, in the company of his Friends, as an adolescent blessed with luck, but little maturity, disappointed not to find what he is desperately missing. A touching character, he tries to give meaning to his life by small pleasures, which disappoint him as soon as they are satisfied. Both Pleasure Superintendents are busy with the preparations.
THE STORY WITHIN THE STORY
The Fairy – Cinderella – The Pleasure Superintendents – The four Mannequins
The Fairy tears the young girl from her dirty linen and lentil chores and tells her the story of “Cinderella”: The four Mannequins and the two Pleasure Superintendents perform for the amused young girl a caricatured and grotesque “Cinderella”. The Fairy puts on the modest young girl the dress her Mother was wearing at her last ball. Then she carries out the transformation: The young girl’s foot comes sequined out of her lentil dish—a magical image, but a warning from the Fairy: You have to remain simple. Sequins are fragile, volatile, and will lose their wonderful properties if Cinderella forgets the essential quality.
VISION OF THE BALL
The Fairy – The Pleasure Superintendents – The Guests – Cinderella
The Fairy prepares Cinderella for her entrance into the world. She lets her glimpse the vision of the horizon towards which she has to walk: In the background, the young girl attends the scene of the ball and cannot say whether it is real or a dream.
The Pleasure Superintendents and the Guests – Entrance of the Fairy – Entrance of the Sisters, the Stepmother, and the Father – Entrance of the Prince and his four Friends – The Fairy and the Prince – The Father sees the Fairy – The Father dances with the Prince, his Friends, the Stepmother, and the Sisters – The Father remembers the Mother and looks for the Fairy – The Fairy – The Prince and the Pleasure Superintendents – Cinderella’s entrance – The Prince and Cinderella meet – The Prince and Cinderella dance with the Guests and the four Friends – The Father and the Fairy, Cinderella and the Prince (pas de quatre) – The ball: All the Guests – Cinderella and the Prince (pas de deux)
Both Pleasure Superintendents arrive at the ball, followed by the Fairy, then by the two Sisters and the Stepmother. The Prince makes his entrance, together with his Friends. He sits on his throne and looks at the courtesans’ parade without showing much interest. He does not find what he is looking for. In turn, the Stepmother and the daughters begin to try and seduce him, but in vain. Someone announces to the Prince the arrival of a strange person. Fascinated, afraid, the Prince seems to understand that he is about to be delivered a message. The Father also looks disturbed: It seems to him, without really believing it, that he recognizes his first wife in the Fairy. He looks for the one and the other, going from memory to reality. The Fairy puts a blindfold on the Prince’s eyes. Cinderella comes in: Her feet walk into the ballroom by themselves, naked and painted. Having recovered his eyesight, the Prince, fascinated, kneels before them and discovers love with humility. The pas de deux of the young couple matches the one of the Mother and Father, united in the same loving surge—a dance of redemption, reconciliation for the Father, who seems to find peace at last. Cinderella and the Prince continue dancing alone.
The Guests – The Father – The Stepmother – The Sisters – The Prince and his four Friends – The Fairy – The Pleasure Superintendents – Cinderella – Midnight: Cinderella’s departure
Cinderella begins to take pleasure in the other courtesans’ mirrors. She gets intoxicated by this ambient madness and its codes of seduction. She appropriates its emblems. It is time for the Fairy to bring Cinderella back on the right path. At the top of the stairs through which she escapes, her bare foot appears in the light—the only trace of her being there and an invitation to find her again.
PRINCE CHARMING’S TRAVELS
The Prince and the Pleasure Superintendents – Entrance of the four Friends – First Galop – The Exotics – Second Galop – The Exotics – Third Galop
The Pleasure Superintendents draw the image of the foot which is being sought. Provided with this sketch, the Prince and his Friends travel aimlessly to find the beautiful, unknown girl. The Prince discovers the foreign country of the Exotics. Although tempted, he still does not recognize the foot he is looking for. Then, the Fairy guides him to Cinderella: It is within himself that he will find her.
Cinderella – The Sisters – Entrance of the Stepmother and the Pleasure Superintendents – The Prince’s entrance – The Prince finds Cinderella
The Sisters get ready to seduce the Prince, but the feet he discovers underneath the bandages are black and bruised. Cinderella’s foot is unveiled in its purity: The Prince recognizes Cinderella at once.
The Father and the Mother/Fairy – The end
Rejecting his second wife, the Father waltzes with the Mother/Fairy. Dancing their love again, he accompanies her down to her last breath, until death cancels remorse.
Story and translation courtesy of Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo.