Cinderella - The Joffrey Ballet

Magical strings of music of Serge Prokofiev floated over the orchestra pit as the Joffrey Ballet , choreographed by Sir Frederick Ashton commenced.  The curtain rose to a very funny dance by the two step sisters ( Matthew Adamczyk and Willy Shives) as they dueled for the attentions of their father  ( Patrick Simoniello.)  Cinderella ( Yumelia Garcia) stoked the ashes of the fireplace.  

Joffrey Ballet: Stepsisters Matthew Adamczyk, Willy Shives

It felt strange at first to see the father rather than our traditional wicked stepmother but the scene soon became enjoyably laughable especially as I watched the sisters preparing for the ball with the shoemaker ( Shane Urton), the dressmakers ( Abigail Bushnell and Kaitlyn Sullivan), the tailor ( John Mark Giragosian), the hairdresser ( Tian Shuai), the jeweler ( Michael Smith), the dance master ( Derrick Agnoletti) and the two fiddlers Armen Anassian and Lorand Lokuszta).  

The entrance of the old woman added the mystical touch as we all knew that she would be the fairy godmother ( Valerie Robin) to come and change Cinderella.  She appears, naturally, as the sisters leave for the ball.
The Coachman ( Dylan Gutierrez) drove off the newly elegant Cinderella to the party.

Joffrey Ballet: Fairy Godmother Valerie Robin

I love the addition of the four seasonal fairies and their star assistants ( Elizabeth Hansen, Jaime Hickey, Anastacia Holden, Stacy Joy Keller, Erin McAfee, Caitlin Meighan, Amber Neumann, Alexis Polito, Abigail Simon, Jenny Winton, Joanna Wozniak, and Kara Zimmerman) to the story.  Each gave a subtle taste of atmosphere.  

Once at the ball, the jester ( Aaron Rogers) entertains us delightfully before the guests arrive.  Here, again, the step sisters again show their true feelings as they fawn over Napoleon( Brian Gephart) and Wellington ( Jonathan Dummar) and try to win the favor of the prince ( Mauro Villanueva).  Among the prince’s friends are Fabrice Calmels, Thomas Nicholas, Temur Suluashvii.  

Joffrey Ballet: Dancing at the Ball

The Courtiers, attendants and pages ( Meredith Broussard, Erica Lynette Edwards, Megan Quiroz, Season Winquest, Raul Casasola, Graham Maverick, Tanner Schwartz, Elizabeth Addas, Juan Aparicio, Jackson Bradshaw, Luis Del Cid, Julian Donegan, Anya Fitzpatrick, Iby Glynn, Veronica Gutierrez, Ben Gutierrex, Takumi Iwai, Ariana Kalamaros, Ysabella Hensley-Son, Malcolm Hicks, Gillian Howe, Jack Ironstone, Quinton Lopez, Louisa Melcher, Katerina Nelson, Miranda Nelson, William Nelson, Ra’Jahnae Patterson, David Preciado, Morgan Quinn, Scott Thomas, Madison Wada, Anneke Wigmore, and Cecilia Wright) performed traditional but lively dances and then wonderfully artistic duets.  

The acting of the step sisters (men in drag) was extremely funny.  While Cinderella was beautiful and magical, the sisters kept the audience in an uproar as they performed English pantomime.

Joffrey Ballet: The company

The Joffrey was the first American dance company to receive the rights to the Ashton classic.  So committed to the art of Sir Frederick Ashton, that Robert Joffrey amassed the largest collection of Ashton’s work outside of the Royal Ballet.  This Ashton version of Cinderella is loving, funny and elegant.

One of the most diverse companies, artistic director Ashley Wheater says “I have been actively seeking talent worldwide.  The additions of these new nine new dancers will draw out and magnify the various talents of the Joffrey.”

This was a truly fun night.  I only wish they were going to be here longer.
Playing only for five days – January 28th –January 31st-  it is a wonderful treat for parents and children alike.  Hurry and get tickets for the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. Tickets run from $30.00-$120.00.  The last performance is 2 pm on Sunday, January 31st.  Call 213 972 0711 for information or get your tickets from  

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