original production: 2006 / live stage production / 3 hrs 20 mins / directed by Kevin O’Hare / company They Royal Ballet / choreography Marius Petipa / music: Pyotr Il’yich Tchaikovsky / country: UK
“The Sleeping Beauty holds a special place in The Royal Ballet’s repertory. It was the ballet with which the Company reopened the Royal Opera House in 1946 after World War II, its first production at its new home in Covent Garden. Margot Fonteyn danced the role of the beautiful Princess Aurora in the first performance, with Robert Helpmann as Prince Florimund. Sixty years later, in 2006, the original 1946 staging was revived by then Director of The Royal Ballet Monica Mason and Christopher Newton, returning Oliver Messel’s wonderful designs and glittering costumes to the stage.
“The masterful 19th-century choreography of Marius Petipa is combined with sections created for The Royal Ballet by Frederick Ashton, Anthony Dowell and Christopher Wheeldon. Together they create an enchanting sequence of gems in the ballet repertory – from the iconic Rose Adage, when Aurora meets her four royal suitors, and the lilting Garland Waltz to the Vision Pas de deux, as Florimund sees Aurora for the first time, and the celebratory divertissements and final pas de deux that bring the ballet to its glorious close. Throughout, Pyotr Il’yich Tchaikovsky’s masterful score takes ballet music to a height of passion, sophistication and intensity that arguably has never been surpassed.” (for more information, visit Royal Opera House)
“You can approach The Sleeping Beauty in two ways. As an opulent fairy-tale ballet full of gorgeous visuals and spectacular dances, or as the measure of a big classical company. On the evidence of this latest revival, the Royal Ballet has an impressive wealth and depth of talent that runs throughout the ranks.” -Debra Craine, The Times
“What is the appeal to adults of an old-fashioned fairytale? This one is a fantasy of beauty and perfection, from the intricate writing of Petipa’s steps and the jaw-droppingly gorgeous costumes, to the flesh and blood dancers transformed into beatific beings, their prime character trait consummate grace.” -Lyndsey Winship, The Guardian