ABT critics south of the border have not warmed up to James Kudelka’s Cinderella.
Joel Lobenthal was lukewarm
There is much humor, but not a lot of wit. Mr. Kudelka has borrowed liberally from both Nureyev's " Cinderella" for the Paris Opera Ballet, which was set in 1930s Hollywood, and Maguy Marin's for the Lyon National Opera Ballet, from which Mr. Kudelka has taken the puppetlike spirits that visit Cinderella in her *******.
The New York Times was a little less warm
in its critique:
Mr. Kudelka, however, is just not a dance maker of any distinction. He can show you Cinderella toward the end of Act I, sketching her first few happy steps on point, but he can’t sustain this for a full dance phrase, let alone for an entire dance, and he can’t when she’s hobbled, either.
Clive Barnes wants to give Cinderella the boot:
But however good the dancing - and however entrancing Prokofiev's score - we're left with the plebian and taste-challenged vulgarity of Kudelka's staging and the sheer banality of his choreography.
Apollinaire Scherr was the only reviewer who had a good time:
The Tim Burton of ballet, Kudelka is that rare choreographer who uses the ring of nature and the supernatural in Prokofiev's score to shape the heroine's domain and imagination. (Under Charles Barker's baton the orchestra was bright without ever being brassy.)
I think all of the above critics would be best served to read Michael Goldbarth’s take on Cinderella!
Ever present throughout the ballet is James Kudelka paying homage to Ralph Kramden, Archie Bunker, and Martin Crane in the rather rustic form of Cinderella’s antique chair. Despite the well preserved chair and delicious preserves from Cinderella’s garden, this Cinderella IS modernized. One trip to this Kudelkaized Cindertale and you’ll mothball your memories of Ben Stevenson’s and Sir Frederick Ashton’s antique creations right back into the fabled age of once upon a time—where they belong!