Russian National Ballet Theatre to return to VPAC with ‘Cinderella’

Jason Gallaher

The Russian National Ballet Theatre returns to the Valley Performing Arts Center to bring two classic fairytales to life. The group will be performing “Sleeping Beauty” on Saturday, Feb. 9 and “Cinderella” on Sunday, Feb. 10 on the Great Hall stage.

The group’s performance of “Cinderella” will be set to a Prokofiev score and has been noted for its new take on the roles of the evil stepsisters. Rather than being decidedly evil, the stepsisters are described as being “more mad than bad” in the VPAC description of the performance.

“Cinderella” was first performed in Russia in Moscow in 1945. This was more than 40 years before the Russian National Ballet Theatre was created in the late 1980s. The group was created during the period of perestroika, a time of political change in the Soviet Union that eventually led to the dissolution of the socialist state.
The period of perestroika was associated with a new political openness in the area that allowed for a break from tradition, not only in Russian politics, but in Russian pop culture as well. This allowed the newly created Russian National Ballet Theatre to infuse traditional performances of classical ballet with new and innovative dance techniques not yet seen in Russian ballet, and to add their own quirky plot twists to performances as they have done with “Cinderella.” Now with more than 50 members, the group travels across the globe entertaining audiences with their unique ballet performances.

“Cinderella” will be held as a matinee performance at 3 p.m. on Sunday, with ticket prices ranging from $20 to $65.