Ballet in two acts.
Duration: 1 h 50 min, with one intermission.
Composer: Sergei Prokofiev
Choreography: Sofia Gaidukova-Golovkina
Based on the fairy tale by Charles Perrault.
About the ballet
The first night of the ballet “Cinderella” by S. Prokofiev based on the same-name fairy tale by Charles Perrot was held on November 21, 1945 at the Bolshoi Theater. It is a play about the victory of childish, naive, humble purity over deceit, anger, greed of the surrounding society. The meekness and kindness of the poor stepdaughter deserve the highest reward. Dancers will help the viewer to believe, even for a moment, that this is possible. With the magic fairy dance, ridiculous absurdity of the sisters and stepmother, unusually beautiful romantic duets of Cinderella and the Prince, the play will be uplifting for both adults and children.
The audience sees the fairies led by Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother. They introduce the viewer to the fairy tale, which has a happy ending: the Prince finds his Cinderella.
A room in the house of Cinderella’s family. The two sisters and Stepmother are scolding Cinderella because the fire is not burning, they blame her father for her bad upbringing and quarrel with each other. The unhappy father takes them away, Cinderella is left alone. She cleans the house, takes the broom and runs cheerfully the usual household chores. The room is clean, the fire is burning. The mean sisters come back and throw about the firewood that Cinderella brought in. They run away with triumph. Cinderella cries.
Mice appear, they gather firewood, put it in the basket and hide behind the armchair. Cinderella stops crying, looks around, and… what a miracle! The room is clean. The mice run out, the girl thanks her volunteer assistants.
Cinderella’s father, the forester, enters the room. He complains about his terrible life. His daughter tries to console him. The father sees that Cinderella is poorly dressed and has no shoes. He takes out a pair of clogs which belonged to Cinderella’s mother. The girl tries on the shoes, but her Stepmother bursts in. Angry with the fact that her husband recalls his former wife, she clutches at her chest and faints. The forester carries his wife away.
The ball is approaching. The Sisters and Stepmother run into the room and demand that they be dressed. Cinderella brings the dresses that she has made herself. The three are filled with admiration. But the Sisters quarrel as they choose the outfits. Stepmother and the father can hardly break up the fight. There appears Prince’s friend, the Master of ceremonies. He announces the date of the upcoming ball in the royal palace. Stepmother pays him to teach his daughters good manners. The classes began, but the clumsy students cannot keep up with the teacher, they stumble and fall, only Cinderella does all he tells flawlessly. The teacher applauds delightedly, but Stepmother takes away the money and makes him teach only her daughters. The sisters do not succeed, Stepmother refuses to pay, and the Master of ceremonies leaves in resentment. Having grabbed the beautiful dresses, Stepmother and the Sisters run away.
The Father sneaks into the room, wearing a nice coat and a hat. The Father bows to his daughter. He plays the role of the prince, she – the princess. They dance a waltz. Cinderella is sad because she is not going to the ball. Her Father consoles her. They continue playing the prince and the princess, but the wicked Stepmother grabs her husband by the hand and leads him away.
Cinderella is left alone. Godmother appears emanating a magical glow. She is the fairy from her dream. She teaches Cinderella to dance along with her retinue of fairies-the four seasons (spring, summer, autumn and winter). With the help of an evil dwarf, Fairy Godmother predicts that the magic will disappear as soon as the clock strikes 12, and Cinderella’s perfect outfit will turn into casual. The Fairy presents her goddaughter the dress and the shoes to go to the ball.
Show curtain. Guests are hurrying to the ball against this background, including Prince of Spain, Prince of China, Prince of Chukotka.
Ballroom of the royal palace. Guests and courtiers are dancing a mazurka. The Master of ceremonies manages the ball. Three princes from friendly states, China, Spain, Chukotka, enter the hall. All ladies try to appeal to the eligible matches. But finally the Prince appears. He is young and handsome. Stepmother and the Sisters also arrive to the ball accompanied by the father of the family. The minister for jokes and entertainment dresses as an executioner and scares the three of them with an ax. The Master of ceremonies announces another mazurka, but magic music is heard, a fantastic light blooms, and a golden carriage flies into the hall. A beautiful princess steps out of it. It is Cinderella. The Prince is charmed. The Master of Ceremonies announces a waltz. The Prince is embarrassed, the Master of Ceremonies starts dancing with the princess, delicately passing her to his student. All guests are overtaken by a romantic mood.
Cinderella is left alone in the hall for a short moment. Her father comes up to her and does not recognize her. Cinderella laughs and explains to him that is her, but transformed. The father believes in miracle. At this moment Prince enters the hall, and her father steps back from the princess. The prices of Spain, China and Chukotka give Cinderella a Spanish cloak, Chinese robe and Chukotka fir. The Master of Ceremonies asks Cinderella to dance. The Prince admires her and leads her out of the hall. The Sisters and Stepmother attack the foreign princes. The ‘grooms-to-be’ retire in horror, and the ‘brides-to-be’ grab the cloak, the robe and the fir, and rush after them.
Cinderella is alone in a hall of the palace. She looks at herself in the mirror in disbelief. The Prince enters and offers Cinderella his hand, heart and crown. Imagination takes the lovers to the Magic Garden. Along with Cinderella and the Prince, fairies dance a waltz surrounded by ladies in hoop-skirts. Suddenly the twelfth month, December, rushes into the hall. He has a clock in his hands. It is only a few minutes to midnight.
The Prince continues his dance of happiness. Cinderella runs away. The fairies whirl around the prince, the clock strikes. The Prince runs to search for the mysterious princess. The twelve months appear. The horses turn back into mice, the carriage turns into a pumpkin. Cinderella is left wearing a poor dress, with only one glass slipper, while she lost the other one. The Prince does not recognize his princess. Cinderella runs away. The glass slipper is left in the Prince’s hands. The Prince notices the Stepmother and the Sisters running out of the palace with the foreign princes. The Prince decides that Cinderella may be one of them.
The Prince’s room in the palace. The Prince, in love but miserable, tries to find his beloved. He travels around the world. In Spain, he meets a passionate Spaniard dancing with her entourage. The teacher of dance is impressed, and thinks that she is Cinderella. But the slipper does not fit. They rush on. Love leads the Prince to the East.
When he sees the stunning beauties dancing to the flute, the teacher of dance is totally carried away. The Prince thinks that the girl in the center is his love, he tries to put on a slipper on her foot, but in vain. The teacher of dance suggests going to Russia. A swirl of Russian girls passes by them, but his beloved is not there. The search continues.
Cinderella’s room. The Stepmother and her daughters return from the ball. They brag to Cinderella about the gifts stolen from the palace. The Father starts behaving as the head of the family after his daughter’s success at the ball. He takes an armful of wood from Cinderella and gives it to one of the Sisters. The other one gets the broom. Nobody pays attention to the Stepmother’s hysterics. The Prince wanders into the house accompanied by his friends. The Sisters see the glass slipper in the Prince’s hands, and take turns to try it on. All in vain. The Stepmother tries to squeeze her foot into the slipper. The minister of entertainment dresses as an executioner again, and tries to make her foot smaller with an ax. Cinderella runs in and stops the ‘executioner’. At this moment the second glass slipper falls out of her pocket. Everyone is astonished. The Prince compares the two slippers, and looks into the face of the poor girl. It is her – his princess. By the wave of the magic wand of the Fairy Godmother, the Prince sees the one he fell in love with.
The Prince and Cinderella are happy. It seems to them that they are floating in the air. They are accompanied by fairies, stars and planets.