Ballet: Sleeping Beauty
If you’re in New York City, one of the biggest attractions is Broadway! And right next to Broadway you have the Ballet – at least that’s my opinion. For those who are unsure, there is no singing, or speaking, only just dancing at a Ballet, and yes, the style of dance IS ballet.
One of the most popular ballets is The Nutcracker – which I’ve seen a few times. It usually runs during the winter season as it tells a the famous story of the Christmas present of the Nutcracker toy coming to life. This past Sunday I saw the Sleeping Beauty ballet.
Sleeping Beauty was choreographed by Peter Martins and George Balanchine with music from Tschaikovsky. The dance was performed by the New York City Ballet company and it tells the story of Princess Aurora.
King Florestan and his Queen held a christening for their new born princess and Aurora’s fairy godmothers were invited to bless the infant with their gifts of virtues. During the blessings, as the Lilac Fairy was about to give the last gift, the evil Fairy Carabosse crashes the christening and, furious for not being invited, casts a curse on the infant. When the princess turned 16 she would prick her finger on a spindle and die.
The Lilac Fairy uses her gift to the infant to counter the curse: instead of dying the princess will fall into a deep sleep from which she will be awaken by love’s first kiss.
On her 16th birthday, Princess Aurora accepts a gift from an old woman – the Fairy Carabosse in disguise. The gift turns out to be a spindle and she pricks her finger and falls to the ground. Her mother and father are distraught until the Lilac Fairy reminds them that she will not die, but will sleep until a prince awakes her with a kiss. After this the Lilac Fairy puts the entire kingdom under a sleeping spell so they will remain sleeping until the princess is awoken.
One hundred years later the Prince Désiré was hunting in the forest and during a time of solitude receives a vision from the Lilac Fairy of the Princess Aurora. He begs the fairy to take him to the princess and the Lilac Fairy leads him to the enchanted Castle.
The prince reaches the princess and awakens her, and with her the entire kingdom. There is a wedding and a celebration. Evil was defeated with love’s first kiss.
Act 1 had three main sets: The Christening, The Spell, The Vision. My favourite parts were the dances of the fairies as they bestowed their gifts – The Fairy of Vivacity being the funniest – and the Vision set, with the best part being the prince trying to dance with the princess in his vision, but being cut off by the Lilac Fairy … rejected! =)
Act 2 had two main sets: The Awakening and the Wedding. The Wedding set included dances from the fairy-tale guests: The White Cat and Puss in Boots (absolutely enjoyable!), Princess Florine and The Blue Bird, Little Red Riding Hood and The Wolf (the little girl was so adorable!), The Jewels (Gold’s tights were well … tight) and The Courts Jesters.
The Grand Pas de Deux (dance between the prince and princess) was really good, but I think my favourite dance from all the different sets were the cats – of course there were a few “pas de chats” which is one of my favourite ballet moves.
I loved the costume – especially the dresses of the courtiers in the wedding scene. I loved the set. I loved the music. I loved the dances. I loved this ballet and would definitely see it again!