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The Many Faces Of Cinderella

DanceCenter No1 / Wikimedia Commons / Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

She has been known as Katie Woodencloak, Aschenputtel, Cendrillon, and of course, Cinderella. Her rags-to-riches story has been told in books, stage, film, television, opera and ballet. There are versions of it from all over the world. The popular French version of the tale, written by Charles Perrault, is best known for supplementing the narrative with such details as the pumpkin-turned-coach, the slippers made of glass and the fairy godmother.

In 1943, Sergei Prokofiev composed his Cinderella ballet. Prokofiev was a prolific artist who created an extensive body of work across form and genre, including operas, symphonies and ballets. He was a child prodigy who composed his first music for the piano when he was five, and, as a young man, he graduated from the Saint Petersburg Conservatory. Schoolchildren across the country may know him best as the creator of Peter and the Wolf.

The Wichita Grand Opera is featuring The Russian National Ballet Theatre performing Prokofiev’s Cinderella on April 25th in the Concert Hall of Century II Performing Arts Center. The company was established in Moscow during Perestroika-- it was then known as the Soviet National Ballet. It is now its own institution, with former Bolshoi prima ballerina Elena Radchenko as artistic director, and it features 50 dancers from companies and schools all over Russia.