OCT 26 | WORKING REHEARSAL
San Francisco Ballet
Choreography by Christopher Wheeldon
Music by Sergei Prokofiev
Parents and Teachers: We’ve Got You Covered
Cinderella: A Story Told Many Times
Choreographer Christopher Wheeldon’s production of Cinderella© is not the first ballet of that name. The very first ballerina to leave her shoe behind at the ball was performed in Moscow by the Bolshoi Ballet in 1945. She danced to the same music by Prokofiev but with choreography by Rotislav Zakharov. Since then, several versions have been created. The first to be seen in America was in 1964 in New York City with the Kirov Ballet.
Maybe you or your child has studied ballet for years or maybe you’ve recently been bitten by the ballet bug and want more information, especially about the company, choreographer, and composer. Here are some sites that will help your search:
San Francisco Ballet
Learn more about San Francisco Ballet, the oldest ballet company (1933) in the United States
SF Ballet YouTube Channel
Start with “Instant Expert: Cinderella” for an overview of the performance and move on to learn about the choreographer Christopher Wheeldon and the creative team that makes the story come alive on stage
Choreographer Christopher Wheeldon is a rising star in the ballet world. Born in England, he trained at the Royal School of Ballet and later joined the company. In 1993, he started dancing with the New York City Ballet where he was promoted to soloist five years later. He began choreographing while at NYCB, and became resident choreographer for the company in 2001.
Wheeldon founded his own dance company called Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company in 2007, and continues to create works for various ballet companies all over the globe, including this production of Cinderella©, for the San Francisco Ballet and the Dutch National Ballet. He also won a Tony® Award for Best Choreography for the Broadway production of An American in Paris in 2015.
Prokofiev and His Music
In 1941, after the Germans invaded the Soviet Union, Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev (SIR-gay pro-KOFF-ee-ef) and other important cultural figures were ordered by Soviet leader Josef Stalin to leave Moscow for safer areas. When Prokofiev moved to Alma Ata, Kazakhstan, he left behind his wife of 14 years and their two children. To Prokofiev, Cinderella was more than a fairy tale character. He saw her as “a real person, feeling, experiencing, and moving among us.” Christopher Wheeldon revealed that he felt the same about her while choreographing the ballet.
Listen to the score by Prokofiev.
A Parents’ Field Guide to Ballet
Teacher Resource: The Elements of Dance
Okay, you’re officially ready for San Francisco’s Ballet’s Cinderella©.
Photo by Erik Tomasson | Maria Kochetkova in Wheeldon’s Cinderella©
Support for Ballet at the Kennedy Center is generously provided by Elizabeth and Michael Kojaian.
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