Russian National Ballet Brings ''Cinderella'' to Life on Jorgensen Stage

The Russian National Ballet brings the world’s most beloved romantic fairy tale to life with their highly-anticipated performance of Cinderella at UConn’s Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts on Tuesday, March 24th.  Under the artistic direction of the company’s legendary founder, Elena Radchenko, the enchanting full-length ballet in two parts promises to entertain and delight audiences of all ages with its company of 50 world-class dancers, luminous costumes, dazzling sets, and composer Sergei Prokofiev’s timeless, magical score.   The performance begins at 7:30 pm. 

Based on the fairy tale written by the great French storyteller Charles Perrault (1628 –1703), (who also authored Sleeping Beauty and Puss and Boots), Cinderella is the endearing story of a young girl with a tender heart who, despite being treated cruelly by her overbearing stepmother and comically vain stepsisters, finds good fortune and happiness through her acts of kindness.  With some timely help from a Fairy Godmother who is able to magically transform a pumpkin into a golden carriage, rags into an elegant gown, and sandals into sparkling glass slippers, the tale shows that acting unselfishly with a clean heart is the best guarantee for finding true love and living happily-ever-after with the prince (or princess) of your dreams.

The charm of the Cinderella story so moved the legendary Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev (1891–1953) that he wrote a timeless score to accompany it.  The music he created was as exquisitely beautiful, delicate, and full of life as Cinderella herself.  The Russian National Ballet’s production of Cinderella also incorporates the highly expressive choreography of Rostislav Zakharov (1907–1975), one of the most active and influential figures of Russian ballet while the Soviet Union was in power. He choreographed Cinderella in 1945 while working with the Bolshoi.

The Russian National Ballet Theatre was founded in Moscow during the transitional period of Perestroika in the late 1980s, when many of the great dancers and choreographers of the Soviet Union's ballet institutions were exercising their new-found creative freedom by starting new, vibrant companies dedicated not only to the timeless tradition of classical Russian Ballet but to invigorate this tradition as the Russians began to accept new developments in dance from around the world.

The company, then titled the Soviet National Ballet, was founded by and incorporated graduates from the great Russian choreographic schools of Moscow, St. Petersburg and Perm. The principal dancers of the company came from the upper ranks of the great ballet companies and academies of Russia, and the companies of Riga, Kiev and even Warsaw. Today, the Russian National Ballet is its own institution, with over 50 dancers of singular instruction and vast experience, many of whom have been with the company since its inception.

In 1994, the legendary Bolshoi principal dancer Elena Radchenko was selected by Presidential decree to assume the first permanent artistic directorship of the company. Ms. Radchenko is the founder of the Russian National Ballet Theatre, and she has focused the company on upholding the grand national tradition of the major Russian ballet works and developing new talents throughout Russia, with a repertory of virtually all of the great full works of Petipa: Don Quixote, La Bayadere, The Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, Raymonda, Paquita, Coppelia and La Sylphide, as well as productions of, among others, The Nutcracker, Sylvia, and La Fille Mal Gardee.

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Voted Best College or University Performing Arts Center in the Hartford Courant’s CTNow, Jorgensen presents 30 to 40 diverse performances each season, from nationally and internationally acclaimed artists and ensembles ranging from classical music to world music and dance, classical ballet and contemporary dance, comedy, family programming and contemporary entertainment.

Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts is located at 2132 Hillside Road on the UConn campus in Storrs. Tickets are now available online at Tickets are $25 - $35 each (with some discounts available).  Patrons can also call the Box Office at 860.486.4226, Monday - Friday, 10 am - 5 pm. Convenient $5 event parking is available in the North Garage (cash only). Free parking is also available in Lots F and N. For a detailed parking map and more information, go to