Footage showing a model of Cinderella’s kitchen was included in a video introduction to the 2010-11 season, published earlier this year. In the 2-minute clip, a short shot from the original 1/25 scale model box presentation can been seen, showing the kitchen in which the heroine begins her story.
In the original presentation, in which John Macfarlane joined the Director to introduce their vision for the ballet to the Company, David said:
‘John has been quite brave in that he has deliberately designed Cinderella’s kitchen to be small. I’ve seen versions of Cinderella set in some of the largest kitchens I’ve ever seen in my life, with vast prosceniums and suchlike. But John said no, it must be credible, like a real kitchen.’
‘It was very important that there be this realism at the beginning,’ explained the designer, ‘in order to create the most effective contrast when she leaves it all behind and embarks on this magical journey.’
David has already said that the restricted space within the kitchen has informed his choreography. In a Question and Answer session conducted earlier this year, he revealed:
‘The size of the performance space then dictates what I do, and I like that kind of restraint sometimes.
‘So the ‘Seasons’ divertissements for instance are all solos. It’s hard to fill a stage with a solo, which is why in a classic ballet you have 100 people sitting around on chairs watching. In these divertissements you’ve only got one spectator – Cinderella herself. So to have the Seasons invading this small kitchen was not only an interesting idea dramatically – visually it looks beautiful – but for me it really focusses the audience’s eyes on that one single dancer.’
You can see the video clip here:
The model box presentation has proved repeatedly to be an invaluable reference point for David. While he is already creating the work in Birmingham Royal Ballet’s home studios, John’s model kitchen has allowed the Director to see just how much space he will actually have available to him when the piece finally makes it to the full stage this winter.