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Fort Worth Ballet Dances ‘Cinderella’

March 28, 1991

NEW YORK (AP) _ ″Cinderella″ in an elaborate but not always satisfying dance being performed here by the Fort Worth Ballet.

Choreography is by Paul Mejia, once a member of the New York City Ballet, co-artistic director of the Chicago City Ballet for six years and in Fort Worth since 1987.

The company is at the City Center for eight performances, beginning on Wednesday.

The opening night Cinderella was Maria Terezia Balogh. She was downcast on the family hearth and remained jarringly downcast even after receiving a gown and arriving at the ball. She glowed only during her last dance with the prince at the end of both acts.

In Act 1, Mejia has provided less dancing and more gesturing and walking around than is usual. Andrei Ustinov, as the prince, danced with sophistication and fervor. The stepsisters - Kelli Moser and Elena Martinson had plenty of enjoyable energy, particularly during a squabbled over the same dress for the ball.

This ″Cinderella″ tries for attention primarily by using some 150 children dressed as bumblebees, wasps, ladybugs, mushrooms, strawberry plants and the like. They appear in Act 1 when Cinderella is receiving her ball gown and the final scene.

The toddlers move around so much they distract attention from a love duet by Cinderella and the prince. It’s cute, but wears thin the second time around. Mejia shows the prince’s journey around the world, looking for a foot to fit the ballet slipper he found on his stair, with women from Spain, Ethiopia and Thailand. Between each of his well-danced, fervent solos and those women’s dances were enjoyable numbers by three rustic cobblers, Mikhail Gaidamakin, Clay Jackson and Frederic Trenary.

The fairy godmother was danced by Maria Thomas. On some nights she and Balogh will trade roles.

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