- Cinderella opens in December at The Esplanade with Min Yi Kwok and Satoru Agetsuma
- SB Artistic Director Janek Schergen choreographs the brand-new production
- Prokofiev’s original music will be played live by Metropolitan Festival Orchestra
- Leonard Augustine Choo, Eucien Chia design costumes, sets, respectively
In December, Min Yi Kwok will play Cinderella in Singapore Ballet’s brand-new production. It will premiere at The Esplanade Theatre on 14 December 2023. Artistic Director Janek Schergen will choreograph the production. Leonard Augustine Choo is designing the costumes and Eucien Chia the sets. The cast will dance to Sergei Prokofiev’s original music played live by the Metropolitan Festival Orchestra.
Min Yi has never danced Cinderella, the closest she ever got to it was playing one of the waitresses at the ball in an early SB production, and in the short programme that the company presented at a fundraiser—but it did leave an impression on her, particularly Prokofiev’s score and the fine acting demanded by the role. There’s also the excitement of dancing with Satoru Agetsuma, one of SB’s most exciting principal dancers. “I hope our partnership reflects the characters in the story,” she adds.
Satoru has been dancing for a good part of 18 years. He trained with The Australian Ballet School and has been with SB for seven years. “I don’t know if I’m a particularly good fit for this role,” he admits candidly, “but the partnership with Min Yi is one thing I’m proud of.” They have danced together for nearly five years, bringing very challenging roles to life. “I’m very happy that we can continue dancing and working on a new ballet together.”
“It would be interesting to portray (Cinderella’s) emotions. I’m a hopeful and positive person, and I like that Cinderella is optimistic, gentle, and sweet-natured.” – Min Yi Kwok
A student of the Singapore Ballet Academy and the English National Ballet School, Min Yi started taking ballet lessons at age four and has spent the past 10 years with SB. She was handpicked for the role by Janek Schergen, the company’s artistic director. “Dancers are cast based on the requirements of each individual role, how suitable they are for the role,” she explains. “It would be interesting to portray (Cinderella’s) different emotions,” she says, adding, “I’m a hopeful and positive person, and I like that Cinderella is optimistic, gentle, and sweet-natured.”
“I want to make the character fresh and pure. I’ll separate him from the other princes such as Siegfried (Swan Lake) and Albrecht (Giselle) so that he looks young and joyful.” – Satoru Agetsuma
Satoru is equally excited to start rehearsals: “The Prince is a character who commits to his love throughout the story,” he says. “He is honest with his feelings and doesn’t give up until he finds Cinderella. When I dance this role, I want to make the character fresh and pure. I’ll try to separate him from the other princes such as Siegfried (Swan Lake) and Albrecht (Giselle) so that he looks young and joyful.”
“Satoru and I always work on our partnering and discuss character interpretations after work or when we have pockets of time during the day,” Min Yi says of their previous collaborations. “We have danced many different ballets together and I’m very blessed to have him as my partner. He is always ready to put in a lot of time, energy, and effort so we can perform to the best of our abilities.”
Singapore Ballet’s Cinderella will be performed at the Esplanade Theatre on 14 & 15 December at 8pm, and on 16 & 17 December at 3pm & 8pm. Tickets are available at SISTIC.