22 February 2017 at 3.50pm | 4 Comments
Marius Petipa’s enchanting production, set to glorious music by Tchaikovsky, was the first production performed by The Royal Ballet when the Royal Opera House re-opened after World War II.
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The wicked fairy Carabosse is furious that she wasn’t invited to Princess Aurora’s christening. She gives the baby a spindle, saying that one day the Princess will prick her finger on it and die.
To remedy the curse, The Lilac Fairy makes her own christening gift: Aurora will not die, but will fall into a deep sleep, which only a prince’s kiss will break.
Tchaikovsky’s masterful score takes ballet music to a height of passion, sophistication and intensity, that arguably has never been surpassed.
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 choreographic gems – from the iconic Rose Adage, when Aurora meets her four royal suitors; 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.
The ballet also makes extensive use of mime, a hallmark of narrative classical ballet.
The live cinema relay will star two Principals of The Royal Ballet. Argentine dancer Marianela Nuñez performs the role of Princess Aurora with Russian dancer Vadim Muntagirov dancing the role of Prince Florimund.
After the relay, we will publish a roundup of audience tweets, so share your thoughts with the hashtag #ROHbeauty.
The Sleeping Beauty will be broadcast live to cinemas around the world on 28 February 2017. Find your nearest cinema and sign up to our mailing list.