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‘Cinderella’ an undisputed masterpiece of elegance

Above, Misa Kuranaga stars as Cinderella. Below, Yury Yanowsky (center left) and Boyko Dossev play her stepsisters.
Above, Misa Kuranaga stars as Cinderella. Below, Yury Yanowsky (center left) and Boyko Dossev play her stepsisters.Photos by Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe

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With its stoic, kind-hearted heroine, bullied by ornery stepsisters, transformed by a Fairy Godmother and swept off her feet by a handsome prince, the story of Cinderella is not just the stuff of fairytale magic. It’s also the perfect narrative for ballet, and it has inspired numerous choreographic treatments over the years. In fact, Boston Ballet has done three different versions — Stevenson, Corder, and Kudelka — in the past two-plus decades.

However, Sir Frederick Ashton’s “Cinderella,” which was given its company premiere by Boston Ballet Thursday night, is considered by many the preeminent version. Choreographed in 1948 to a voluptuous score that Sergei Prokofiev composed just four years prior, this “Cinderella” is an undisputed masterpiece of classical elegance liberally laced with farcical humor.

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