Last week the company jumped into rehearsals for Sir Frederick Ashton’s Cinderella. Ashton’s version of Cinderella was first performed in London, 1948 (Sir Frederick played the little sister). After we perform, The Joffrey in Chicago and Ballet West will be the only companies in the US to have danced Ashton’s Cinderella. Ashton’s work has a very specific style that challenges us a lot and broadens our repertoire of movement. The last Ashton ballet the company danced was The Dream in the fall of 2009.
Wendy Ellis Somes and Malin Thoors flew into Salt Lake from England and Paris, respectively, to stage Ashton’s work. Both ladies are great to work with. They are really nice people and they know the ballet and style extremely well.
Wendy Ellis Somes was born in Blackburn, England. After training at the Royal Ballet School, Wendy joined The Royal Ballet in 1970. There she became a soloist in 1975, then a principal in 1979. After retiring in 1990, she worked closely with late husband Michael Somes (former danseur noble and Assistant Director of The Royal Ballet) through 1994, staging and producing Ashton’s Symphonic Variations and Cinderella, and is now their owner and custodian. Wendy is in high demand around the world because she is regarded as an important link in passing down the Ashton tradition. Wendy has staged Ashton’s work in Tokyo, Stockholm, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Amsterdam, London and now Salt Lake City.
Malin Thoors was born in Vantör (Stockholm) Sweden. From 1976-1984, Malin danced in the corps de ballet and as a demi-soloist with The Royal Swedish Ballet. Malin has freelanced, staging ballets for many companies overseas. Since 2003, Malin has been an assistant ballet master at the Paris Opera Ballet. Wendy Ellis Somes and Malin Thoors first worked on Sir Frederick Ashton’s Cinderella together at The Dutch National. Now they work together, staging Cinderella around the world. They make an awesome team, I might add (I just did add it, so there).