James Kudelka

James Kudelka


James Kudelka’s Cinderella balances tradition with modernity in a unique rendering of the story that discards the rags-to-riches scenario to put Cinderella on equal footing with Prince Charming, both confined by their respective circumstances and in search of a simpler life. The forces against them are real but hilarious, from Cinderella’s inebriated stepmother to her blundering stepsisters and their shameless flatterers. With its colourful characters, Art Deco-inspired designs by David Boechler, lively score by Sergei Prokofiev and lighting by Christopher Dennis, Kudelka’s Cinderella is an unrivaled adaptation of the classic fairy tale. 

Bande-annonce de Cendrillon

Cinderella lives with an indifferent stepmother and vain stepsisters who force her to keep house though she would rather be in the garden. One evening, Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother magically whisks her away to Prince Charming’s ball, provided she returns home by midnight. The Prince, who seeks only a quiet life, reluctantly attends the ball where he falls in love on meeting Cinderella. As the clock strikes 12, Cinderella flees, leaving behind a single glass slipper which the Prince must use to find her.

Read Synopsis

Cinq choses à savoir
  1. 1Kudelka exchanges the familiar story of a young girl rescued by a man of great wealth for one that focuses on an equal partnership. Throughout the ballet, money and fame are held in opposition to emotion and nature.
  2. 2Kudelka is one of few choreographers to use nearly all of Prokofiev’s 1945 score, including the travelling scene of Act III, in which the Prince searches the world for the owner of the glass slipper.
  3. 3The score is incredibly layered and varied, from the menacing Grand Waltz in Act II that foreshadows the arrival of midnight to the comic relief provided by the Stepmother and Stepsisters throughout.
  4. 4Canadian designer David Boechler created the sets and costumes with nods to the art and fashion of the 1920s and 30s, using geometric patterns, chic flapper dresses, high-waisted trousers and plenty of eclectic shoes.
  5. 5The National Ballet of Canada performed the very first production of Cinderella in North America, Celia Franca’s staging, at Toronto’s O’Keefe Centre on 15 avril, 1968. Norman Campbell’s film of the production for CBC television received an Emmy Award in 1970.
Watch and Explore

Ballet Moments: Cendrillon

Hope Muir on Cinderella

Cinderella Teaser

Cinderella's Entrance

Cendrillon Voir la galerie

Le chorégraphe

James Kudelka a été chorégraphe résident du Ballet national du Canada après avoir été son directeur artistique pendant neuf ans. He creates works of incredible musicality and vision for companies internationally, from original full-length ballets to short contemporary works and remounted classics. Kudelka was Resident Choreographer of Coleman Lemieux & Compagnie from 2008 to 2020.

Le compositeur

Sergei Prokofiev was one of the major composers of the 20th century, known and celebrated for his symphonies, operas, piano sonatas and ballets, notably Romeo and Juliet and Peter and the Wolf.


“National Ballet of Canada’s Cinderella is embodiment of the heart’s desire… Kudelka’s reading of the time-honoured rags-to-riches fairy tale is unconventional” – Toronto Star 

“A divine pairing of music and dance… James Kudelka’s production of Cinderella is a masterpiece... the finest Cinderella in the world, bar none.” – The Globe and Mail  

“James Kudelka’s Cinderella fits the National Ballet of Canada exactly the way the glass slipper fits the central character’s foot: perfectly.” – National Post


  • Act I 35m
  • Entracte 20 m
  • Acte II 40 m
  • Entracte 20 m
  • Act III 35m
  • Total (approx.) 2 h 30 m


Chorégraphie :
James Kudelka, O.C.

Musique :
Sergei Prokofiev

Conception de la scène, des costumes et des accessoires :
David Boechler

Conception de l’éclairage :
Christopher Dennis

Première mondiale : The National Ballet of Canada, Hummingbird Centre for the Performing Arts (now Meridian Hall), Toronto, 8 mai, 2004

Cendrillon est un cadeau du Comité bénévole, le Ballet national du Canada.

For Celia, with my deepest gratitude. JK

Le Ballet national du Canada est reconnaissant du généreux soutien des organismes suivants :


  • Act I 35m
  • Entracte 20 m
  • Acte II 40 m
  • Entracte 20 m
  • Act III 35m
  • Total (approx.) 2 h 30 m

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