Stages

Joffrey Closes 60th Season with Cinderella

Christine Rocas. Photo by Cheryl Mann.

Christine Rocas. Photo by Cheryl Mann.

Chicago’s Joffrey Ballet closes out its 60th anniversary season this month with the return of Frederick Ashton’s Cinderella in a nod to company founder Robert Joffrey.

The full-length ballet represents founder Joffrey’s last wish for the company, which first performed the ballet in 2006. The company last danced the three-act ballet in 2010.

“The Joffrey Ballet’s 60th anniversary has honored the incredible legacy of our founder Robert Joffrey,” said Joffrey Ballet Artistic Director Ashley Wheater in a statement. “In his spirit, we’ve pushed boundaries through innovative new work; we’ve celebrated his beloved The Nutcracker; and now, we conclude our season with the revival of Ashton’s brilliant Cinderella.”

Robert Joffrey founded the company in 1956.

Joffrey’s Cinderella offers additional local flare, with the Chicago Philharmonic accompanying the dancers live with Sergei Prokofiev’s score, which was originally written for the Bolshoi Ballet in Russia.

Ashton originally choreographed Cinderella for the Salder’s Wells Ballet, now The Royal Ballet in London, in the winter of 1948. For a city still recovering from the horrors of World War II, Ashton’s ballet offered an enchanting reprieve full of whimsy, humor, and magic.

Cinderella was Ashton’s first full-length ballet and the first of the century from an English choreographer.

Wendy Ellis Somes first staged Cinderella for the Joffrey Ballet in 2006 and returns this year for the current staging, alongside Malin Thoors. Forty-five dancers take the stage for the production, clad in costumes designed by David Walker.

Cinderella is one of the most popular and lavish productions in the Joffrey repertoire,” Wheater said. “We look forward to sharing this magical production with audiences this spring.”

The show runs May 11 through May 22 during 10 shows at the Auditorium Theatre. Tickets range from $32 to $170 and are available at ticketmaster.com, at the Joffrey Ballet’s box office, and by calling 800-982-2787. For more information and a full performance schedule, visit joffrey.org.

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