Bolshoi Ballet: The Sleeping Beauty

Dance, Ballet
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Bolshoi Ballet: The Sleeping Beauty
The Bolshoi Ballet continues its summer season in London with 'The Sleeping Beauty'. It's the first performance outside of Russia of this version, staged by Yuri Grigorovich, legendary dancer and choreographer who ran the Bolshoi from 1964 to 1995. He's very much a traditionalist and champion of the company's Soviet-era reportoire so don't expect anything progressive.


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Nothing Tired About This Sleeping Beauty ! Having been enchanted by this wonderful re-telling of a classic fairy tale last night, at Covent Garden I was dismayed to read several lacklustre reviews this morning. I am not a ballet "specialist" or even a regular ballet-goer, but I cannot but wonder if there are some sour grapes tainting some of the more negative comments ? Space does not permit me to give personal credit to some of dancers of smaller roles , which is a great pity as they all deserve special mention; from the very serious and high stepping pageboy who solemnly bows to his Princess and his Queen with due reverence every time, to the manic-rat-demons who diabolically scamper in pestilential support of the EVIL fairy. Some critics have accused this production of being "Pantomic" - but cannot they see that it is a fairy-tale. A classic rendition of the old Good-v-Evil battle. An essentially simple story, where Good triumphs, but Evil lives to stalk another day. The settings are masterfully and artfully achieved on a grande scale, but without any of the mechanical wizardy of revolving staging as one sees at Glyndbourne or in New York. The invisible glide of the Fairy Boat through the lapping dry ice of the Magic Lake provides sufficient mechanical marvel. From its bows, the Prince and the Good Fairy wave in regal fashion as they progress to the Enchanted Kingdom. It is marvellously compelling stuff, and brings back to mind all those large hard backed picture books from ones childhood. The Costumes are Lavish ; even the fir trees in the Red Riding Hood vignette during the Epilogue are glistening. The pairings of partnerships for all the main roles, including the Bluebird Duo, and the minx-like flirtatious Pussies (in Boots) who offer magnificent solos and duos in the last Act are excellent. Although perhaps Princess Aurora has less chemistry with her Prince than does the Good Fairy, with whom there was an artistic symmetry which created for simply stunning performances. Not only did the Prince's leaps suspend animation, and defy gravity, but the entire performance, for me, suspended the rotten drudge of a working week, and defied the entire audience to really, truly believe in Fairies and Magic Kingdoms. Follow the Bolshoi and see for yourself...they know the secret path down to the Enchanted Lake... DMC - London