Russian Ballet performs ‘Cinderella’ at the Rialto
By Randall G. Mielke For Sun-Times Media January 17, 2013 4:54PM
The ballet "Cinderella" will be performed at the Rialto Square Theatre on Jan. 22.
The State Ballet Theatre of Russia presents ‘Cinderella’
♦ 7:30 p.m. Jan. 22
♦ Rialto Square Theatre, 102 N. Chicago St., Joliet
♦ Tickets, $23-$48
♦ (815) 726-6600
Updated: January 17, 2013 5:12PM
The story of “Cinderella” has been presented in numerous forms over the years, often with variations and subtle changes in the basic plot or characters. The State Ballet Theatre of Russia’s production, which will be presented on Jan. 22, at the Rialto Square Theatre in Joliet, is no exception.
The State Ballet Theater of Russia was founded in 1961 in the city of Voronezh, according to Anastasia Dukhnina, public relations manager for ballet company.
“In 2006, The State Ballet Theater of Russia invited Vladimir Vasiliev, a famous Russian ballet dancer and choreographer, to revise his 1991 production of ‘Cinderella’ and stage it for the Voronezh ballet company,” said Dukhnina about the troupe’s current touring production.
“Mr. Vasiliev’s choreography reflected changes that took place in the art of ballet over the past decades. This production combines both elements of traditional ballet and more modern choreography. Mr. Vasiliev took full advantage of composer Sergei Prokofiev’s music and created images of Cinderella’s stepmother and stepsisters with grotesque and over-the-edge comic representations. In fact, in this production a male actor plays the stepmother’s role.”
“Cinderella,” as performed by The State Ballet Theatre of Russia, presents a company of 65 Russian dancers, many of whom have won international ballet competitions. The ballet company tours in the United States and Canada every year. The current tour, which runs from Dec. 11, 2012, to Feb. 17, 2013, will have the company giving more than 30 performances in 22 cities. Ten crew members travel with the 65 dancers on the tour. All the sets and costumes travel with the company from one venue to the next. A tour of this magnitude has its challenges.
“Touring dancers and crew members have to adapt to change constantly,” Dukhnina said. “The whole troupe is involved, starting with the technical staff. They need to design tour-friendly productions and adjust them to suit different venues. The dancers must be prepared to cover a broad range of roles and say ‘goodbye’ to the comfort of their homes and main theater, adjust to new food and new performing venues.”
But for the ballet troupe, the satisfaction outweighs the challenges.
“The most satisfaction for the dancers comes from the audience’s reaction to the performance,” Dukhnina said. “Exited, spontaneous applause from the audience gives the dancers energy, enthusiasm and gratitude to carry on and perform to the best of their ability.”