The scenario is faithful to the beloved 1697 tale by Charles Perrault, in which the heroine's father fails to protect Cinderella from the wickedness of a stepmother and two stepsisters . After the intervention of her Fairy Godmother however, the underappreciated Cinderella is transformed (along with an ordinary pumpkin that becomes a fancy carriage!) into a beautiful young woman who finds love
in the arms of a Prince .
The most famous piece from Prokofiev's score is the lovely, melodic waltz of the Act II ball scene, to which the Prince and Cinderella, who have fallen in love at first sight, dance a rapturous pas de deux. The concluding number of the act, when Cinderella realizes she must leave before the clock finishes striking twelve, is charmingly danced by children holding silvery numbers, who form a circle and jump as the music tolls the hours.
But perhaps even more famously, the ballet is also chock‐full of over‐the‐top pantomime from the Ugly Stepsisters (traditionally danced by men in drag) and other assorted silliness. However, for choreographer Bahr, the most magical thing about CINDERELLA is that what seems unattainable becomes reality. "Prokofiev wanted to express the poetic love of Cinderella and the Prince, the birth and flowering of that love, the obstacles in its past and finally the dream fulfilled. In my ballet, there is plenty of fun for the children in the audience, but Cinderella's touching despair, hope and triumph also engage the adult mind. We all need reminding that dreams can come true."