Ballet Arizona Delights with ‘Cinderella’

Posted By on February 21, 2018

Last week at Symphony Hall, pumpkins turned to coaches, rags transformed into ball gowns and dreams came true as Ballet Arizona triumphed with its enchanting take on “Cinderella.” This full-length ballet told the beloved story in three acts, with live musical accompaniment of Sergei Prokofiev’s buoyant score performed by The Phoenix Symphony.

Choreographed by artistic director Ib Andersen, this version of the quintessential fairy tale drew raves reviews when it debuted back in 2011. In fact, The New York Times noted that Ballet Arizona told the tale “with compelling human detail.”

This production of “Cinderella” breathed new life into the classic romance with 32 new costumes constructed by the Ballet Arizona costume shop. Working tirelessly for several months, Ballet Arizona’s talented team of seamstresses created 20 new tutus and 12 men’s costumes — each a work of painstaking craftsmanship.

According to Ballet Arizona executive director Samantha Turner, it took about three weeks of full-time work to produce one costume. Hundreds of individual beads were sewn on one by one — one costume boasted more than 5,000 hand-sewn beads.

“The costume shop is very much like the fairy godmother,” Turner said. “They take everyday things and work magic with them.”

Beyond the sumptuous costumes, the production sprang to life with magical performances by Ballet Arizona’s world-class dancers. The comical stepsisters performed their dances with knowing absurdity, traveling the stage with incompetent jumps and hops. Meanwhile, the ethereal fairy godmother, the handsome prince, and the spunky Cinderella all offered a delightful dose of romance, much to the joy of the crowd.

In all, the production was like stepping between the pages of this archetypal story, allowing ballet lovers of all ages to experience a collective happily ever after.


About Karen Werner

Karen Werner is the editor of Frontdoors Media. She is a writer, editor and media consultant. She has interned at The New Yorker, worked at Parents Magazine, edited five books and founded several local magazines. Her work has appeared in Sunset, Mental Floss and the Saturday Evening Post.