ABT’s World Premiere “Whipped Cream”: Delightful Ballet Treat

Segerstrom Center for the Arts – American Ballet Theatre’s Whipped Cream Photo by Gene Schiavone

Alexei Ratmansky’s masterfully choreographed “Whipped Cream” made its American Ballet Theatre’s World Premiere at Segerstrom Center For the Arts in Costa Mesa, CA this past week. I had the pleasure to see the closing performance cast.

The Pacific Symphony played Richard Strauss’s 1924 “Schlagobers” ballet score to perfection. The score takes you on the journey of a boy (Daniil Simkin) with a zealous penchant for sweets who indulges in the whipped cream sending him on an eye-opening trip to the doctor and a rescue to Princess Praline (Sarah Lane).

Segerstrom Center for the Arts – American Ballet Theatre’s Whipped Cream Photo by Gene Schiavone featuring Sarah Lane as Princess Praline and Daniil Simkin as the Boy

Sarah embodied poise and a welcoming lead to Daniil’s youthful exuberance. Daniil’s reactions to his surroundings offered a pleasant departure to your more stoic ballet stories. He portrayed humor while dancing through predicaments which made his rescue celebration of turns and leaps soar.

The boy’s journey to that celebration commences in act one scene 2 when his sweet imagination lands on the whipped cream and the sweets that come to life.

I loved how Stella Abrera as Princess Tea Flower and returning David Hallberg as Prince Coffee enter the stage through enlarged containers labeled tea and coffee.

Stella and David fulfill their roles with preternatural technique and dazzling movement. They each embody their character with richly textured movement. Stella oozes grace and charisma with joyous flirtation and David brings dynamic artistry.

It was so refreshing to see a ballet living up to the lightness and fluffiness of whipped cream itself. The show features confectionery treats such as marzipan, sugarplums, gingerbread brought to life by the dancers and the genius Mark Ryden’s costuming.

Segerstrom Center for the Arts – American Ballet Theatre’s Whipped Cream – Princess Tea Flower – Sketches for Whipped Cream by Mark Ryden and Stella Abrera as Princess Tea Flower – Photo by Doug Gifford

Mark serves as both the scenic and costume designer whose cohesive vision received many murmurs of surprise and applause. The set’s delectable details that create a playful act one and intriguing set up to act two are not to be missed. Neither are the giant heads for the priest and doctor or the giant puppetry of stuffed animals.

“Whipped Cream” will ignite your inventive and imagining spirit as you indulge in a true ballet treat! Look for further ABT performances of “Whipped Cream” at the Metropolitan Opera House from May to July 2017 and be transported to sweet entertainment!

Segerstrom Center for the Arts – American Ballet Theatre’s Whipped Cream – Sketches for Whipped Cream by Mark Ryden

Act 1 Focus Grabbing Standout: Joseph Gorak as Prince Cocoa whose powerful leaps were accompanied by beautiful silent landings.

Act 2 Shimmering Highlight: Mademoiselle Marianne Chartreuse brought to life by Catherine (Cate) Hurlin capturing whimsy and delight while dancing alongside Roman Zhurbin and Duncan Lyle as liquor bottles. The three are able to aid the boy escaping the doctor who becomes intoxicated.

Printables Inspired by “Whipped Cream” on Sale at Shining Inspiration Etsy Shop and Tulle Skirt by Space 46

To purchase a printable quote and to see others inspired by the show please visit Shining Inspiration’s Etsy shop.

For a pre-show or post-show treat in the Costa Mesa area head on over to The Royal Tea and Treatery (a gluten and dairy free facility). Perhaps your sweet tooth can indulge in a mini desert with a cup of tea or a salad and sandwich for more filling fare.


Sleeping Beauty-Matthew Bourne



Matthew Bourne’s “Sleeping Beauty” is a visual masterpiece that extends gothic undertones into the well-designed set, lighting, costumes, overall staging and dancing itself.

Bourne’s creative ingenuity is highlighted through the utilization of Tchaikovsky’s classic music with a newer energy that is bewitching.

I like some of the contemporary twists and the passage of time that moves the story along with touches of comedy. For example, this production swaps out pointe work and classic ballet phrases for vampires and inclusion of different dance styles per act.

Special moments to look out for are the use of puppetry to portray the younger Aurora and the staging with the conveyor belt type movement effect.

This production gives you flashes of an enchanting realm beyond that might leave you shivering with delicious horror or give you lovely pieces of dreams.

Go see the production of “Sleeping Beauty” at the Ahmanson Theatre that closes Dec. 1 and experience it yourself.

Click here to buy tickets.