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  WINDY CITY TIMES

Joffrey Ballet closes 60th season with Ashton's Cinderella
From a press release
2016-04-26

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The Joffrey Ballet celebrates the culmination of its 60th Anniversary Season with the return of Sir Frederick Ashton's dazzling three-act ballet, Cinderella, which the Company last performed here in 2010. Set to Sergei Prokofiev's classic score performed live by the Chicago Philharmonic, this enchanting fantasy is full of splendor, humor and magic, and is widely considered one of Ashton's greatest full-length ballets.Cinderella will take place at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, 50 E. Congress Parkway, Chicago, in ten performances only, May 11-22, 2016.

"The Joffrey Ballet's 60th anniversary has honored the incredible legacy of our founder Robert Joffrey," said Joffrey Ballet Artistic Director Ashley Wheater. "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, a favorite of Mr. Joffrey. Cinderella is one of the most popular and lavish productions in the Joffrey repertoire and we look forward to sharing this magical production with audiences this spring."

Cinderella was Sir Frederick Ashton's first full-evening ballet for the Sadler's Wells Ballet ( now The Royal Ballet ), the first full-length ballet of the century by an English choreographer, and the first in the Western world to use the Prokofiev ballet score that had been written for the Bolshoi Ballet. When Cinderella premiered at The Royal Opera House, London, on December 23, 1948, the city was digging itself out of the rubble of World War II. The ballet offered a glimpse of hope for a weary population.

Wendy Ellis Somes, former dancer at The Royal Ballet, first staged this rags-to-riches story for the American debut at The Joffrey Ballet in 2006,fulfilling Robert Joffrey's dream of having the Ashton ballet in the Company's repertoire. Somes returns with her colleague Malin Thoors for this staging.Breathtaking sets and costumes designed by David Walker add beauty to this family favorite production, featuring a full company of 45 dancers with 39 different characters.

Ashton's Cinderella tells the tale of downtrodden Cinderella who overcomes her mean-spirited step sisters and finds her Prince through the help of herFairy Godmother and the Fairies of the Four Seasons. Pumpkins become coaches, rags turn to ball gowns, and the comedy of Cinderella's pantomime step-sisters—portrayed, as is tradition, by male dancers—provide the perfect foil for the developing romance of Cinderella and the Prince.

Tickets and Schedule

The Joffrey Ballet performs Cinderella May 11-22, 2016; the full performance schedule is as follows: Wednesday, May 11 at 7:30pm, Friday, May 13 at 7:30pm, Saturday, May 14 at 2:00pm and 7:30pm, Sunday, May 15 at 2:00pm, Thursday, May 19 at 7:30pm, Friday, May 20 at 7:30pm, Saturday, May 21 at 2:00pm and 7:30pm, Sunday, May 22 at 2:00pm.

Single tickets range from $32-$170 and are available for purchase at The Joffrey Ballet's official Box Office located in the lobby of Joffrey Tower, 10 E. Randolph Street, as well as the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University Box Office, all Ticketmaster Ticket Centers, by telephone at ( 800 ) 982-2787, or online at ticketmaster.com .

About The Joffrey Ballet

This year, The Joffrey Ballet celebrates its 60th company anniversary. Classically trained to the highest standards, The Joffrey Ballet expresses a unique, inclusive perspective on dance, proudly reflecting the diversity of America with its company, audiences, and repertoire which includes major story ballets, reconstructions of masterpieces and contemporary works.

The company's commitment to accessibility is met through an extensive touring schedule, an innovative and highly effective education program including the much lauded Academy of Dance, Official School of The Joffrey Ballet, Community Engagement programs and collaborations with myriad other visual and performing arts organizations.

Founded by visionary teacher Robert Joffrey in 1956, guided by celebrated choreographer Gerald Arpino from 1988 until 2007, The Joffrey Ballet continues to thrive under internationally renowned Artistic Director Ashley Wheater and Executive Director Greg Cameron.

The Joffrey Ballet is grateful for the support of its 2015-2016 Season Sponsors and Partners and would like to acknowledge the generous support of Cinderella Presenting Sponsors Margot and Josef Lakonishok and Cinderella Production Sponsors Sandy and Roger Deromedi.

Special thanks to Co-Sponsors of the 2015-2016 Season: Abbott Fund, Alphawood Foundation Chicago, NIB Foundation and Daniel and Pamella DeVos Foundation; Season Partners: pamella roland and Fox Ford Lincoln, Official Provider of Physical Therapy, Athletico; Official Hotel, JW Marriott; and Official Health Club, Chicago Athletic Clubs.

For more information on The Joffrey Ballet and its programs, please visit joffrey.org .


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