Cinderella springs to life on Denver stage

Colorado Ballet presents “Cinderella,” choreographed by Ben Stevenson. This photo is of principal dancer Maria Mosina in the role in an earlier performance. Photo courtesy of David Andrews
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Happily ever after...

The tale of Cinderella is very much embedded into our collective cultural baggage - especially those of us who were, or who have lived among, princesses.

Seeing Cinderella, her mean stepmother and stepsisters and, of course, the charming prince, puts one into a satisfying fantasy world for a couple of hours. And seeing the characters portrayed by beautiful dancers is even better.

Colorado Ballet presents the full-length ballet, with choreography by Ben Stevenson, O.B.E. and music by Sergei Prokofiev, Feb. 14-23 at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House, Denver Performing Arts Complex.

"Cinderella" will have live accompaniment by the Colorado Ballet Orchestra.
The story of the poor young woman, subjected to ongoing hassle by her stepsisters, is familiar - complete with the glass slipper, helpful fairy godmother and romantic ball.

It has humorous moments - especially with those ill-tempered sisters.

The performance is suitable for ages 5 and up, according to Colorado Ballet Artistic Director Gil Boggs and is suggested as an appropriate Valentine outing for kids or adults.

Stevenson, now at the helm of the Texas Ballet (Dallas, Fort Worth), was born and trained in Great Britain and has had such a distinguished career that he was awarded the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth in 1999.

He appeared with Sadler's Wells Royal Ballet and as a principal dancer with the English National Ballet. He also staged his first highly successful production of "Sleeping Beauty" with Margot Fonteyn in 1968 with the English National Ballet.

He first choreographed "Cinderella" in 1970 for the National Ballet in Washington D.C. and in 1976 was appointed artistic director of the Houston Ballet, where he spent the next 27 years and choreographed a number of full length works.

In 2003, he assumed leadership of the Texas Ballet Company.

Colorado Ballet, in its 53 season, was established by Denver dance teachers Lillian Covillo and Freidann Parker and while it primarily performs at the Ellie, it will be seen at Lone Tree Arts Center this spring with its annual program of shorter, more contemporary works.

If you go:

Colorado Ballet will perform "Cinderella" from Feb. 15-23 at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House, Denver Performing Arts Complex. Performances: 7:30 p.m. Feb. 14, 15, 21, 22; 6:30 p.m. Feb. 20; 2 p.m. Feb. 15, 16, 22, 23. Ticket prices range from $25 to $155: 303-837-8888, ext. 2, or www.ColoradoBallet.org.