What’s On meets the stars of Royal Moscow Ballet and Bolshoi Theatre as Cinderella ballet Abu Dhabi run begins. Get ticket information and read a review.

Dance around the world

By Nina Plapp

The classic fairy tale Cinderella has begun its 10-day run at ADNEC in Abu Dhabi as part of the emirate’s Summer Season. What’s On was there to meet the cast on opening night.

It’s a story that has not only captured the imagination of children all over the world, but also that of Russian Sergei Prokofiev, who composed the music for this ballet in Moscow between 1940 and 1944. This month’s performances by the Royal Moscow Ballet really is taking it back to its roots.

Chinara Alizade and Maksim Surov are stars from the world-renowned Bolshoi Theatre and are in the capital to play the lead roles of Cinderella and the Prince in the RMB’s production of one of Prokofiev’s most famous ballets.

Is this your first time playing the roles of Cinderella and the Prince?
Chinara Alizade: Both of us are playing these roles for the first time, yes. This is even our first time dancing together.
Maksim Surov: We have been in rehearsals for one month together, solidly.

How do the two of you get on off sage?
CA: Working so closely together involves a lot of trust. Of course there are stressful moments on stage together. Sometimes we can get cross. But no matter what happens, as soon as the rehearsals are finished we are friends again.

What are your expectations of the Abu Dhabi audience?
MS: We are hoping for and expecting a warm reception. Each time we go on stage we feel nervous, it doesn’t matter where or whom the audience are.

Do you have any rituals before going on stage to cope with these nerves?
CA: Our main tradition to prevent nerves is just to really enjoy what we are doing; this is what performers should always do.

What are your favourite moments in the ballet?
MS: “Adagio”, the duet between the Prince and Cinderella as they fall in love. It’s the best, the most romantic moment, when they realise they love each other.

CA: When you are young, it is the most interesting thing as a young dancer to present this feeling; you want to express your feeling of love to everyone. It is very important to show the fairy tale too. As this is a ballet, which many children come to see, it is very important to show the clear relations, to show the fairy tale. It’s important the children understand the clear feelings of love between the Prince and Cinderella.

Ballet is a difficult profession; hard work, competitive with comparatively small monetary rewards – what moment did you decide you were going to dance professionally?
MS: I started at nine years old. From childhood.
CA: I started at five. There was no one moment, it was right from the beginning, from school. When you start you already understand, you are ready and you are prepared for the hard work.


Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, Abu Dhabi, until June 16, Dhs199 to 1699. Taxi: ADNEC. tixbox.com