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Ballet West: Cinderella

People familiar with the western telling of the timeless tale Cinderella know that the obnoxious stepsisters are not only crude and rude but ugly, too—their outward unsightliness a sign of inner repulsiveness. In the ballet world, there’s a long-standing tradition that the loathsome sisters are played by men in drag for comic relief.

Choreographer Frederick Ashton decided to take things a bit further with his version of Cinderella (premiered in 1948, restaged in 1965), when he cast himself in the role of the shy sibling playing the timid counterpart to the bossier of the two sisters. As such, the celebrated three-act classic is considered to be a comic ballet, but it also has a surprising amount of lyrical warmth—with the help of Sergei Prokofiev’s melodic and melancholic score—when it gets down to telling the story of Cinderella’s lofty dreams and love fulfilled by a handsome prince.

Ballet West has become only the second company in America to get the rights to stage Ashton’s version of the fairy tale, and the cast has been working with Wendy Ellis Somes, a former principal dancer with The Royal Ballet of London, where Ashton originally created Cinderella while he was founder choreographer. According to Ballet West Artistic Director Adam Sklute, being able to learn both the choreography and theatricality of the classic work directly from someone who not only danced the piece, but also worked closely with Ashton, has been an amazing opportunity, especially for those charged with vamping it up as the dreadful stepsisters. (Jacob Stringer)

Date: Feb 14, 2013
Time: Times Vary
Phone: 801-355-2787
Address: 50 W. 200 South, Salt Lake City, 84101
Where: Capitol Theatre