With its fairytale magic and ludicrous stepsisters, Sir Frederick Ashton's Cinderella is full of whimsy and charm. The choreography is also playfully challenging with quirky, intricate phrasing that illuminates Prokofiev's score. Antoinette Sibley, a former principal of The Royal Ballet, revels in the challenges as the titular Cinderella. A master of speed and staccato, Sibley is a frothy delight in her Act II variation in this clip from 1969.
Sibley takes the floor in a glittering white tutu, the belle of the Prince's ball. She showcases her footwork with precise petite changements at 0:25 and delicate walks on pointe at 0:58. When the tempo accelerates, Sibley moves with brilliant speed, her feet just skimming the floor. Ending the variation with dazzling turns en manège (two times around the stage!), it's a wonder she's not dizzy as she steps to curtsy with a beaming smile. Happy #ThrowbackThursday!