Choreography - Sir Frederick Ashton
Cinderella was Sir Frederick Ashton's first full evening ballet for the Sadler's Wells Ballet (which later became the Royal Ballet) and it premiered on December 23, 1948. The sets and costumes were designed by Jean-Denis Malcles. It was the first full-length ballet of the century by an English choreographer and also the first in the Western world to use the Prokofiev ballet score that had been written for the Bolshoi Ballet.
Cinderella, the story of a beautifyl young woman with unrecognized virtues and is magically redeemed from a life of oppression, has been part of the folk tradition of every culture since antiquity. Marisu Petipa, known as the father of the classical ballet, was one of the first to choreograph Cinderella, and he greatly influenced Ashton. Cinderella was also a subject of traditional English pantomimes, with Cinderella performed by a woman and the Stepsisters' roles by men. Ashton used this idea when he and Robert Helpmann created the roles. Bceause of an injury to MArgot Fonteyn. the first performances were danced by Moira Shearer, of 'The Red Shoes' fame. Michael Somes, Fonteyn's long time partner, danced the Prince. His widow, Wendy Ellis, first stanged Cinderella for The Joffrey Ballet in 2006, fulfilling Robert Joffrey's dream of having the Ashton ballet in the company's repertoire.
Music - Serge Prokofiev
Lighting Design - Scott Kepley and Wendy Ellis Somes
Set and Costume Design - David Walker
Back by popular demand, Sir Frederick Ashton’s Cinderella returns to The Joffrey Ballet! Ashton’s Cinderella is widely considered one of the greatest ballets of this timeless fairy tale of rags-to-riches and love conquers all! Cinderella transforms from a sad young woman into a beautiful princess, despite the best efforts of her overbearing evil stepsisters, portrayed, as is tradition, by male dancers. The ballet is set to Serge Prokofiev’s hauntingly beautiful score, exquisite dancers, breathtaking sets and costumes designed by the brilliant David Walker.
Joffrey Premiere: October 4, 2006, Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, Chicago, IL
World Premiere: December 1948, Sadler's Wells Ballet