San Francisco Ballet presented the U.S. premiere of international choreographer Christopher Wheeldon‘s Cinderella at the War Memorial Opera House on May 3, 2013, the first of ten sold-out local performances.
“This Cinderella is different from other ballet versions of the story,” said Wheeldon. “We’ve combined elements of the Grimm and Perrault versions of the tale and added some of our own — the production is comical, romantic and theatrical …” Set to the music of Sergei Prokofiev with no fairy godmother, pumpkin coach or clock striking midnight, we glimpse Cinderella’s life before her mother dies and watch as an enormous magical dancing tree, created by award-winning puppeteer Basil Twist, and four spirits watch over her. There were 51 chandeliers in the production and 51 chandeliers in the elaborate dinner and after-party tent created by Riccardo Benavides of Ideas for the Cinderella Opening Night Ball. Click here for scenes from the Cinderella Opening Night Ball.
Photos by Drew Altizer Photography
One of the most in-demand dance makers in contemporary ballet today, just a few days later, on May 8, Wheeldon was in New York where he staged two world premieres for New York City Ballet’s 25th Annual Spring Gala. Wheeldon trained as a dancer at The Royal Ballet School, danced for both The Royal Ballet and New York City Ballet, served as resident choreographer for New York City Ballet, founded his own ballet company, and in 2011 produced the first full-length ballet created for The Royal Ballet in 20 years, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.