Tick, tock. Tick, tock. Sergei Prokofiev’s beautifully eerie time keeping score. Tick, tock. Tick, tock. A row of conical hedges transform with one rotation into metronomes. Tick, tock. Tick, tock. A dancer’s leg strikes twelve, over and over. Tick, tock. Tick, tock. A leg can swing like a pendulum, oscillating back and forth from a central point. A body has become a clock, proving Salvador Dali true: “every portrait can be transformed into living room furniture,”[note]Espace Dali, Monmartre: http://www.daliparis.com/english/dali-designer.html[/note] and thus Mae West’s lips become a sofa on which to sit. The body can become an object and an object can become a body. Time and transformation are the threads that bind this new production of the Australian Ballet’s “Cinderella.” True to the score, Alexei Ratmansky’s choreography coupled with Jérôme Kaplan’s costume and set design revels in this glorious sense of time being measured, and the optical illusion of surrealism whose transformative powers delight in catching you in their illusion, making this fairytale complete.
Ben Davis and Hailana Hills in Alexei Ratmansky's “Cinderella” for the Australian Ballet. Photograph by Jeff Busby