Live the fairytale...The Joffrey Ballet warms the hearts of Chicago with Sir Frederick Ashton's timeless Cinderella at the Auditorium Theatre!

January 14, 2010
Press Release


January 14, 2010

Live the Fairytale... The Joffrey Ballet warms the hearts of Chicago with Sir Frederick Ashton’s timeless Cinderella At The Auditorium Theatre, February 17-28, 2010


CHICAGO – The Joffrey Ballet’s 2009-2010 “Season of Legends” continues with Sir Frederick Ashton’s Cinderella, back by popular demand. Widely considered one of the greatest ballet interpretations of this timeless fairytale, Ashton’s Cinderella is an enchanting fantasy full of splendor, humor and magic. The Chicago Sinfonietta, the official orchestra of The Joffrey Ballet, under the baton of conductor Scott Speck, will provide live musical accompaniment of Sergei Prokofiev’s classic score. Cinderella will take place at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, 50 E. Congress Parkway, in nine performances only, February 17 – February 28, 2010.

“As a company known for its many ‘firsts,’ The Joffrey Ballet was the first to perform Ashton's Cinderella in America in October 2006,” notes Joffrey Ballet Artistic Director Ashley C. Wheater. “Having worked closely with Sir Ashton at The Royal Ballet, I can confidently say that The Joffrey upholds the full ingenuity, sincerity and authenticity of his brilliant work. A work for the entire company, Cinderella is one of the Joffrey’s most popular and lavish productions ever and we are proud to revive it this season.”

Acquiring Ashton’s Cinderella was a longtime dream of Joffrey Ballet Founder Robert Joffrey, and it was his last wish that the Company perform this production. When it premiered in 2006 it was the first brand new, full-length story ballet that The Joffrey had mounted since The Nutcracker premiered in 1987. The Joffrey Ballet retains the exclusive rights to perform Ashton’s Cinderella.

Performed in three acts with 39 different characters portrayed, Cinderella is a rags-to-riches fairytale about a downtrodden young Cinderella, a glass slipper and a handsome prince, who are all brought together by a fairy godmother. Ashton creates a mysterious and magical world where pumpkins become coaches, rags turn to ball gowns, and the comedy of Cinderella's pantomime step-sisters—portrayed, as is tradition, by male dancers—provides the perfect foil for the developing romance of Cinderella and the Prince.

Sir Frederick Ashton joined The Royal Ballet of London as choreographer when the company was founded in 1931 and served as its Artistic Director from 1963 to 1970. When Cinderella premiered at the Sadler’s Wells Ballet (London) in December 1948, it was not only Ashton's first full-evening ballet, but also the first production in the West to use Prokofiev's hauntingly brilliant score, which was composed specifically for Ashton’s choreography. Ashton later revised and restaged Cinderella for The Royal Ballet in 1965. As a young dancer, Wheater trained at The Royal Ballet School in London, and at age 13 he worked with Ashton on the World Premiere of Benjamin Britten’s Death in Venice. Wendy Ellis Somes, a former dancer with The Royal Ballet, staged and directed Ashton’s Cinderella for The Joffrey Ballet, with the production boasting breathtaking sets and costumes designed by David Walker.

Performance Schedule and Pricing for Cinderella:
Wednesday, February 17 at 7:30 p.m.; Friday, February 19 at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, February 20 at 2:00 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, February 21 at 2:00 p.m.; Friday, February 26 at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, February 27 at 2:00 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.; and Sunday, February 28 at 2:00 p.m.

Single tickets, priced from $25 to $145, are available for purchase at The Joffrey Ballet’s official Box Office, located in the lobby of 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

The 2009-2010 season of Legends will conclude with a mixed repertory program entitled Eclectica, April 28 – May 9, 2010, which will feature Gerald Arpino’s Reflections, and two newly commissioned works, The Madness of Crowds by the innovative choreographer James Kudelka, and Crossed by distinguished dancer and choreographer Jessica Lang.

The Joffrey Ballet extends special thanks to its 2009-2010 Season Sponsors: Abbott Fund; NIB Foundation; United Airlines, the Official & Exclusive Airline of The Joffrey Ballet; AthletiCo, the Official Provider of Rehabilitation, Fitness and Performance; and UBS, Live Music Sponsor. The Joffrey would also like to thank the Production Sponsors for Cinderella: Bank of America; Margot and Josef Lakonishok; MAC, Cinderella’s Cosmetics Sponsor; Today’s Chicago Woman, Media Sponsor; and Park Hyatt, Hotel Sponsor.   The 2009-2010 Season is partially supported by the National Endowment for the Arts; the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency; CityArts 4 grant from the City of Chicago, Department of Cultural Affairs.

For more information about The Joffrey Ballet and current productions please call 312-386-8905 or visit