Ballet in three acts
Choreography: FREDERICK ASHTON
Music: SERGEI PROKOFIEV
Production, direction and supervision: WENDY ELLIS SOMES
Conductor: EVGENY VOLYNSKY
Set and costume design: TOER VAN SCHAYK
Lighting: MARK JONATHAN / STANISŁAW ZIĘBA
World premiere: 21 November 1945, Bloshoi Ballet, Moscow
Premiere of this choreographic version: 23 December 1948, Sadler’s Wells Ballet, London
First performed by the Polish National Ballet: 27 November 2010
Who doesn’t know the story of Cinderella, the unfortunate orphan, her evil stepmother, and helpless father. In Frederick Ashton’s production the step-mother is dead already, yet she has left behind two capricious, selfish daughters, who have turned the orphan into their servant. Yet good has to triumph after all, as Cinderella is looked after by a Fairy Godmother. Thanks to her magic spell, the girl will live one day as a princess: she will go to a ball at a palace, overshadow her step-sisters with her charm and beauty, enchant the prince, lose her slipper, and … Well, we all know the story’s ending, but are nevertheless eager to follow it once again, especially if told by Sir Ashton, a virtuoso of ballet narration, an artist of an exquisite sense of elegance and humour, and the best British choreographer of the 20th century.
This is the best production of Sergei Prokofiev’s ballet, loved by the audiences of the Royal Ballet in London with equal force for years. It is an offering for whole families, with new generations falling for it one after another. Adults enjoy the beauty of English classical dance and the hefty dose of satire with which Ashton treats the step-sisters (both played by men). Children are thrilled to follow Cinderella’s ups and downs against the backdrop of fairytale costumes and scenery designed by Dutch scenographer Toer van Schayk. The Polish National Ballet’s production is the work of Wendy Ellis Somes, former star of the Royal Ballet. PNB’s soloists enliven each performance with their beautiful dance and acting talents.
Running time: 2 hrs 35 min.