Christopher Wheeldon’s Cinderella celebrated its North American premiere with the SF Ballet back in 2013 and is enjoying another memorable run in SF on its 10th anniversary.
Wheeldon, a renowned English choreographer, transformed the classic tale of Cinderella into an unforgettable ballet with style, twists, and mesmerizing visual effects.
This exciting adaptation was inspired by the darker Brothers Grimm tale rather than the Disney animated film. Be warned, you won’t find a fairy godmother or any talking mice. Instead, Cinderella’s heroine is in control of her destiny, emerging from the death of her mother and empowered by love on her extraordinary journey. There’s still a noble prince, whimsical creatures, and visual elements that promise to leave you speechless.
The performance includes a staggering 197 roles and 370 costumes and is set to a classic score by Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev. The production includes set and costume designs by Tony Award-winning designer Julian Crouch and San Francisco-native puppeteer Basil Twist, who creates the tree that grows from Cinderella’s tears. The dazzling end of Act I was called a “triumph of fantasy” by The New York Times.
As a co-production with Dutch National Ballet, Cinderella premiered in the U.S. with SF Ballet in 2013. It has since been performed across the globe including in New York, London, Munich, and Amsterdam.
SF Ballet was founded in 1933 and is the oldest professional ballet company in the United States. SF Ballet staged the first American production of Swan Lake and was the first company in the United States to present an annual holiday Nutcracker.
This writer went in with high expectations and the memorable performance exceeded each and every one of them. Christopher Wheeldon’s Cinderella has forever changed my view of ballet and I genuinely can’t wait to see what else SF Ballet has in store for us this season.
SF Ballet’s performance of Christopher Wheeldon’s Cinderella at SF’s War Memorial Opera House will close on April 8.