#TBT: Zenaida Yanowsky as the Winter Fairy in Cinderella (2003)

I love Prokofiev’s somewhat dark musical compositions, his way of twisting graceful melodies in unconventional, dramatic ways. This is particularly apparent in Cinderella. Prokofiev’s sonorous score, combined with Sir Frederick Ashton’s nuanced choreography and The Royal Ballet dancers’ poetic movement, makes for true enchantment. As the Winter Fairy in Act I, principal dancer Zenaida Yanowsky perfectly embodies the season. She seems to enter on a cold, foreboding wind, chill emanating with each step. Yanowsky’s expression is fierce, almost frosty, and her limbs alternately cut the air like icicles and swirl like snow.

Yanowsky has been a principal with The Royal for 15 years. Her tall stature and laudable acting lends itself well to regal roles. Happy #ThrowbackThursday!

Zenaida Yanowsky in another Ashton ballet, Marguerite and Armand. Photo by Tristarm Kenton courtesy of The Royal Opera House.

Fun Fact:

Does the last name Yanowsky ring more than one bell? Zenaida and former Boston Ballet principal Yury Yanowsky are sister and brother. Plus, their little sister Nadia is a soloist at Dutch National Ballet. Talk about a dancing gene!

For more news on all things ballet, don’t miss a single issue.

Photo by Alex Lentati courtesy of the Evening Standard.

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