The State Ballet Theater of Ukraine returns to Rockford this fall to present “Cinderella,” the classic folk tale of a young woman who magically goes from rags to riches, swapping jealous and mean stepsisters for a new life of love and happiness with a handsome prince.
The performance will take place at 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 14 at Coronado Performing Arts Center, 314 N. Main St.
“Cinderella” will be set to Sergei Prokofiev’s music and Vladimir Vasiliev’s choreography. Fifty-five of Ukraine’s finest artists will take the stage for a two-act performance of one of the most beloved stories of all time. This season, the ballet will perform in America and Canada, acquainting audiences with dancers who represent the highest level of classical ballet in the world, with the best performers and graduates of prestigious Ukrainian and world choreography schools. Many of the dancers have been soloists in major international companies. The company has performed many masterpieces of classical ballet.
Cinderella will be the 12th production since the theater reopened in August after an 18-month shutdown due to the pandemic. By the end of this year, 21 performances will have taken place at the Coronado, says recently hired Assistant General Manager Doug Johnson.
“I’m just getting my feet firmly planted on the ground so we can walk before we run,” he says. “My job is to expand the list of promoters who want to bring entertainment to the Coronado. What we’re doing is good, but we need more diverse programming that can be achieved in a variety of ways to widen the cultural activities here. My goal is to make the Coronado a destination that attracts people from all over the region.”
The theater is now booking performances for next spring and summer. The Delta variant of COVID-19 slowed things down for a while, he says.
“As COVID cases go down, our industry can literally breathe again,” he says. “We’re thrilled to be bringing live events back to Rockford, including the opportunity to see such a globally renowned dance company in our city. We’re working to safely bring even more high-quality entertainment to the Coronado, including comedy, contemporary music, children’s shows, movies, and more.”
The Coronado Performing Arts Center is home to the Rockford Symphony Orchestra (RSO), the Broadway in Rockford series, and the Rockford Dance Company. The venue also hosts and partners with the Friends of the Coronado and the Land of Lincoln Organ Society, two non-profit organizations that help to maintain and preserve the historical assets of the theater and to educate the public about the Coronado – Rockford’s “crown jewel.”
Just a few weeks ago, The Friends of the Coronado Foundation added more excitement to the reopening of the Coronado by completing a restoration of the iconic and historic Coronado marquee sign that is now lit up every night instead of only on show nights.
“The marquee was repainted with the original rich and vivid colors, equipped with all new mechanical systems, and updated with 2,808 LED lightbulbs,” explains Friends of the Coronado Executive Director Beth Howard. “The dancing lights towering 65 feet high are lighting up downtown once again. We’re over the moon to see our marquee glowing each evening.”
Since its opening in 1927, the Coronado has welcomed many dance companies, from Ballet Russe of Monte Carlo, the Joffrey Ballet, the Agnes DeMille American Heritage Dance Company, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s Ailey II company, and the National Ballet Theater of Odessa, just before the pandemic shuttered venues nationwide.
Tickets for “Cinderella” and all upcoming events can be purchased at the theater, online at coronadopac.org or by calling the box office, (815) 968-5222. ❚