Cinderella (The Lost Shoe) - A decidedly contemporary ballet by Stijn Celis

    OCTOBER 18, 19, 20, 25, 27 AND NOVEMBER 2 AND 3 AT 8 P.M.

    MONTREAL, Oct. 16 /CNW Telbec/ - Created in the fall of 2003 by Les
Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal, Stijn Celis's "21st-century Cinderella"
wowed audiences with its daring retelling of the popular Charles Perrault
tale. Now Cinderella is back in a totally new version by Mr. Celis being
presented at Théâtre Maisonneuve of Place des Arts this October 18, 19, 20,
25, and 27, and November 2 and 3. The title character will be danced by
Isabelle Paquette and Callye Robinson, who will alternate in the role. Don't
delay: there's still time to get tickets for this inaugural show of Les
Grands' 2007-2008 season. The music of Sergei Prokofiev, as well as a new
score by American pianist Les Baxter, will be performed by the Grands Ballets
Orchestra under the direction of Conductor-in-Residence Allan Lewis. The
ballet is a presentation of Hydro-Québec.


    Belgian choreographer Celis, who delivered the superbly sombre Noces in
2002, has been back in Montréal since late August to work with Les Grands'
dancers. Together, choreographer and troupe have modified and refined the
ballet to create the "new" Cinderella. Novel costumes and some different set
elements are also in the works.
    Commissioned by Les Grands Artistic Director Gradimir Pankov, Cinderella
(The Lost Shoe) retains only a few rudiments of Mr. Perrault's tale. Here, the
characters are driven by profoundly different motivations. You're more likely
to lose your footing than your slipper as the path to true love for the beauty
and her prince proves infinitely more tortuous than in the original story. The
choreographer is a keen observer of society and draws vital inspiration from
tradition, using the fairy tale to investigate contemporary values and plunge
the audience into a world where the modernity of human relations is at stake.
    "A highly unconventional ballet that deserves kudos for its audacity."
(Frédérique Doyon, Le Devoir)
    Mr. Celis' Cinderella plumbs depths far beyond the tale so familiar to
Western cultures. Our heroine lives in a dysfunctional family, adrift in a
contemporary world gone awry, represented by misshapen props strewn on the
ground like so much flotsam. Inspired by the Prokofiev score - fertile ground
if there ever was one for this choreographer - the work is built around
connections between reality and dream states, between feminine and masculine,
with qualities inherent in each reappropriated as expressions of profound
paradoxes and feelings. The gestures, as well as the physical attitudes and
costume detailing, echo this.
    Guided by the memory of her late mother, Cinderella is a forsaken young
woman who aspires to love. The roles of the wicked stepmother and mercurial
stepsisters are comically danced by men, the fairy godmother has become a
ghost-mother and the prince is held captive by the social conventions of his
class. Over and above its love story, Cinderella examines the inner
transfiguration of its characters in a world searching for meaning, and
celebrates the triumph of authenticity over the superficial.


    One of the most active choreographers in Europe today, Stijn Celis was
named most promising young choreographer of 2001 by the prestigious
Berlin-based magazine Ballet International/Tanz aktuell. Born in Belgium in
1964, Mr. Celis has also lived in Zaire. Now a choreographer and set designer,
he first gained attention as a dancer in companies such as the Royal Ballet of
Flanders, Zurich Ballet, Cullberg Ballet, Bern Ballet and the Ballet du Grand
Théâtre in Geneva. While with the Grand Théâtre in Geneva in 1991, under
artistic director Gradimir Pankov, he demonstrated his creative talents during
a choreographic workshop.
    Since 1997, Mr. Celis has focused exclusively on choreography and set
design. His works have been danced by Ballet Gulbenkian, Ballet Mainz, Ballet
Wiesbaden, Ballet Nurnberg and the Cullberg Ballet. In 2002, Les Grands
Ballets Canadiens de Montréal commissioned him to create Noces, a vibrant
treatise on the rites of marriage, to Stravinsky's famous score. In 2003, Les
Grands called on his choreographic talents once more for the creation of
    From 2004 to 2007, Mr. Celis served as Artistic Director for the Bern
Ballet, overseeing such works as a new version of Swan Lake (2006), which drew
raves for its innovative qualities from the Zurich daily Neue Zurcher Zeitung.
He recently choreographed a solo piece that was danced by Julie Guibert as
part of the Sujet à vif program of the 2007 Festival d'Avignon, garnering
favourable reviews from critics in France.
    As a set designer, Mr. Celis has worked with such luminaries as Didy
Veldman and Jan Verzweyveld on numerous opera and theatre productions.

    Come and discover this all-new Cinderella (The Lost Shoe) at Théâtre
Maisonneuve of Place des Arts at 8 p.m. on October 18, 19, 20, 25, 27 and
November 2 and 3, presented by Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal
accompanied by the Grands Ballets Orchestra under Conductor-in-Residence Allan
Lewis. Tickets can be purchased at Place des Arts, 514-842-2112 /
    Moderated pre-show chats will take place at Théâtre Maisonneuve from 7 to
7:30 p.m. on the evening of each performance.


    For information on the various ways of subscribing to Les Grands'
program, group packages and their accompanying privileges, phone 514-849-0269.
You may also want to consult our seasonal brochure or visit us online at, where you'll also find information on our shows,
company and dancers.

For further information:

For further information: Francine Arsenault, Communications, (514)
849-8681, # 227,

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