BOSTON - Boston Ballet's 50th season continues with the company premiere of Sir Frederick Ashton's Cinderella. This grandiose production showcases the full Company's technical finesse in one of the most beloved classics of all time. Moving with ease just a week after closing the contemporary masterpiece Close to Chuck, Boston Ballet exhibits its versatility with this full length fairytale ballet. The production is set to Sergei Prokofiev's highly acclaimed score, and will be performed by the Boston Ballet Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Jonathan McPhee. Cinderella will run from March 13-23 at the Boston Opera House.
"This production is a classical masterpiece," said Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen. "At once it encompasses the history of Ashton's legacy, and the magical tale audiences know and love. From the lavish sets and costumes, to the characteristic British humor, Cinderella is simply hard to resist."
Seen for the first time at the Boston Opera House, the production will feature four principal dancers making their debut in the title role - Kathleen Breen Combes, Lia Cirio, Ashley Ellis, and Misa Kuranaga. The demanding choreography includes a remarkable entrance in Act II, where Cinderella arrives at the ball. Appearing at the top of the grand staircase, she must descend on pointe without glancing down appearing as if she is floating majestically down the stairwell. The large buildup before an entrance is typical of Ashton's choreography, and demonstrates Marius Petipa's influence on his style.
Ashton's version of this classic tale features a Fairy Godmother as well as Four Season Fairies, introduced in Act I to prepare Cinderella for the ball. Each fairy showcases a style unique to the season as she presents a gift to Cinderella. The Winter Fairy displays delightfully crisp movements in contrast to the languid and sensuous dance of the Summer Fairy. The Spring Fairy dances with the joy of flower buds bursting while the Autumn Fairy's brusque and earthy movements symbolize fallen leaves being brushed aside.
The roles of the 12 stars in Act II also illustrate Ashton's clever ability to weave symbolism into his choreography. These whimsical characters appear when Cinderella and the Prince first meet, representing both the stars that twinkle as true love flourishes, and time passing by, bringing Cinderella closer to the magic's end. By the end of the second act the stars form a clock representing each hour, skillfully performing precise almost mechanic choreography.
Ashton's Cinderella premiered on December 23, 1948 with Sadler's Wells Ballet, later to become The Royal Ballet. The production is highly acclaimed as one of The Royal Ballet's foundation works. Presented in three acts, Cinderella tells the well known story of an oppressed girl overcoming the authority of her ugly stepsisters to follow her dreams. The roles of the stepsisters are comedic characters performed by men. Ashton himself famously danced one with The Royal Ballet for 27 years.
Sir Frederick Ashton (1904-1988) enjoyed a splendid performance career before becoming Resident Choreographer for Sadler's Wells Ballet in 1935. He was named Artistic Director of the Company in 1963, a position he held until his retirement in 1970. Over the course of his career Ashton created more than 100 original ballets. His first full-length work for Sadler's Wells Ballet was Cinderella, and today it is still thought of as one of his greatest works.
All performances of Cinderella will take place at the Boston Opera House:
Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 7:30PM
Friday, March 14, 2014 at 7:30PM
Saturday, March 15, 2014 at 1:00PM and 7:30PM
Sunday, March 16, 2014 at 1:00PM
Wednesday, March 19, 2014 at 1:00PM and 7:30PM
Thursday, March 20, 2014 at 7:30PM
Friday, March 21, 2014 at 7:30PM
Saturday, March 22, 2014 at 1:00PM and 7:30PM
Sunday, March 23, 2014 at 1:00PM
For more information, visit www.bostonballet.org or call 617-695-6955.
Boston Ballet's internationally acclaimed performances of classical, neo-classical, and contemporary ballets, combined with a dedication to world class dance education and community outreach programs have made the institution a leader in its field, with a 50 year history of promoting excellence and access to dance. The Company launched its 50th season overseas with six critically acclaimed performances at The London Coliseum. Upon the return to the U.S., Boston Ballet kicked off the season at home with the first-ever Night of Stars on Boston Common - a free performance for the Boston community. The historic evening attracted over 55,000 audience members to the largest stage ever built on Boston Common. The monumental season will conclude with a national tour to Washington D.C.'s Kennedy Center and New York's David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center.
Led by Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen, the Company has grown to become a force in the dance world locally, nationally and internationally. Boston Ballet continues this dynamic momentum into its 50th season while honoring its historic roots, the legacy of founder E. Virginia Williams, artistic advisor George Balanchine, and the leadership of artistic directors Violette Verdy, Bruce Marks and Anna Marie Holmes.
The programming for Boston Ballet's sensational 2013-2014 season defines the Company's distinctive style and rich diversity, showcasing its artistic and technical range; from traditional classics like Ashton's Cinderella, Clerc's La Bayadére, Lander's Études, to Balanchine's dazzling Jewels and Resident Choreographer's C. to C. (Close to Chuck). In addition the Company will introduce new voices in dance to the United States, with works by Alexander Ekman (Cacti), Petr Zuska (D.M.J. 1953-1977), and a world premiere by José Martinez.
Boston Ballet School, the official school of Boston Ballet, has a long-standing dedication to excellence and access. The School reaches more than 10,000 students (toddler to adult) each year through Boston Ballet School classes, the Summer Dance Workshop, Pre-professional Summer Dance Program and the Pre-Professional Training held at three studio locations in Boston, Newton, and Marblehead.
Boston Ballet's nationally-acclaimed education programs include Citydance, Taking Steps, and Adaptive Dance. The programs are offered in partnership with the Boston Public Schools and in communities throughout the city and region.
Boston Ballet gratefully acknowledges the following institutional partners:
State Street Corporation, 2013 Presenting Sponsor, The Nutcracker, London Tour
The Boston Foundation
Massachusetts Cultural Council
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