The Australian Ballet’s Cinderella choregraphed by Alexei Ratmansky

Cinderella: Alexei Ratmansky tackles romance and redemption in a lavish new production

Leanne Stojmenov. Makeup by Napoleon Perdis. Photography Justin Ridler

Leanne Stojmenov. Makeup by Napoleon Perdis. Photography Justin Ridler

The Russian-born, New York-based choreographic heavyweight has been in our Melbourne studios since July creating his first full-length work for the company, Cinderella.

This stunning production will have its Sydney premiere at the Sydney Opera House on 29 November for 22 performances.

This is the second time Ratmansky has worked with The Australian Ballet. In 2009, he created Scuola di ballo as part of the Concord triple bill.

But this time around he’ll be unleashing his considerable narrative talents on a sublime story ballet, taking audiences on a journey to 20th-century Russia and into an abandoned theatre where this unconventional fairy-tale is set.

The Artistic Director of The Australian Ballet, David McAllister, said to expect the unexpected.

“Alexei has wonderfully reimagined iconic works such as The Nutcracker, Don Quixote and The Firebird, and I have no doubt that this production will be equally spectacular,” said McAllister.

“His abilities span all genres of classical ballet and I know he’ll put his unique stamp on this much loved fairy-tale. He’s a master of characterisation and our dancers are excited to be working with him again on bringing these roles to life.”

The story

Dressed in little more than dusty rags, Cinderella works away while her tempestuous Stepmother and Stepsisters prepare for the royal ball.

As she dreams of dancing at the ball, an eccentrically disguised Fairy Godmother revolutionizes Cinderella’s rags into a magnificent ball gown – forget the pumpkin and the mice, cosmic companions accompany Cinderella to the ball in this re-imagined fairytale.

Captivated from the moment Cinderella enters the ball, the Prince only has eyes for his mysterious muse. A tick of the clock and one lost slipper later, the handsome Prince must embark on a world-wide journey to find his long-lost love, visiting many lands teemed with temptations before he is reunited with his long-lost love.

The creative team

A former dancer, Ratmansky famously took the reins of the famed Bolshoi Ballet at just 36 years of age. He was the Bolshoi’s Artistic Director for five years, before heading across the Atlantic to join American Ballet Theatre in 2009 as Artist-in-Residence.

He has won numerous accolades for his choreography, including a UK Critics Circle National Dance Award for The Bright Stream; the Benois de la Danse prize for his choreography of Anna Karenina for the Royal Danish Ballet; and a Golden Mask Award for Best Choreographer for his production of Jeu de Cartes for the Bolshoi Ballet.

Ratmansky has teamed up with award-winning costume designer Jérôme Kaplan to realise his creative vision.

The duo have previously worked together on costumes for Het National Ballet’s Don Quixote and the world premiere of Lost Illusions at the Bolshoi; the latter winning him a Golden Mask Award for Best Costume Design.

From the page to stage – what it takes

  • 6 wigs taking around 30 hours each to create by hand
  • 8 metre high sets being built at our Altona Production      Centre
  • 10 bowler hats especially made by a New Zealand      milliner
  • 20 metres of net for the skirts of each ball gown alone
  • 25 costumiers
  • 40 costume designs
  • 42 metre wide set backdrop cloths
  • 68 dancers
  • Over 100 backstage crew
  • 275 costumes
  • 1,000 metres of material

Fantasy, intrigue and a little bit of magic … let Cinderella cast a spell on you this spring.


Choreography Alexei Ratmansky
Music Sergei Prokofiev
Costume and set design Jérôme Kaplan
Lighting design Rachel Burke
Projection design Wendall K Harrington


29 November – 18 December
Sydney Opera House
Joan Sutherland Theatre
with Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra

Online or 1300 369 741

Running time
150mins with two intervals
Estimated finish time of 10:00pm

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2 Responses to The Australian Ballet’s Cinderella choregraphed by Alexei Ratmansky

  1. Ballet News September 11, 2013 at 11:52 am #

    Dee Elle commented : It will be stunning I’m sure, Ratmansky is a genius..Wish I could be there to see it Dxx

  2. Ballet News September 12, 2013 at 4:06 pm #

    Janette Miller commented : Looks as if it may have a ‘wow’ factor!

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