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What distinguishes Ballet Chicago from the other struggling groups in town with similar names, in this performance in particular, is the Russian connection. Artistic director Daniel Duell made his mark with the New York City Ballet under the direction of America’s greatest gift from Russia, George Balanchine, learning to perform that outstanding hybrid of Russian formalism and American panache. Now Duell has created a new piece for Cinderella featuring 16 area children, in a staging otherwise choreographed by Martin Fredmann, artistic director of Colorado Ballet. Cinderella is hardly heady stuff, but the lead roles are being danced by Anastasia Babayeva and Anton Kunikeyev–former Bolshoi soloists whose dancing is heady stuff, since they were trained at what was arguably the finest classical ballet company on earth. And Prokofiev’s splendid score, another Russian connection, is not often heard in its entirety. So there’s something for everyone here: a treat for the kids, great soloists for the lovers of dance, and a knockout score for the music enthusiasts, as Ballet Chicago surfaces once again. Wednesday at 6:30; Thursday, April 10, and next Saturday, April 12, at 2 and 7:30; next Friday, April 11, at 7:30; and next Sunday, April 13, at 2. At the Shubert Theatre, 22 W. Monroe; $12-$45 (half price for children 5-12). Call 312-831-2822 for tickets and information.

–Joseph Houseal

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): Cinderella stage photo.