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The Royal Ballet's The Sleeping Beauty to be relayed live to cinemas on 28 February 2017

This well loved ballet holds a special place in The Royal Ballet’s repertory, more than 70 years on from its premiere.

By Rose Slavin (Former Assistant Content Producer)

22 February 2017 at 3.50pm | 4 Comments

The Royal Ballet’s The Sleeping Beauty will be relayed live to cinemas around the world on 28 February 2017 at 7.15pm (GMT).

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.

Sign up to access the The Sleeping Beauty Digital Programme (using the promo code FREEBEAUTY) and enjoy a range of specially selected films, articles, pictures and features to bring you closer to the production.

The cinema relay will be presented by Former Principal of The Royal Ballet and 'Strictly Come Dancing' judge Darcey Bussell and winner Ore Oduba.

The story

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.

Read more: Our Ballet Essentials guide to The Sleeping Beauty

The music

Tchaikovsky’s masterful score takes ballet music to a height of passion, sophistication and intensity, that arguably has never been surpassed.

Read more: How Tchaikovsky used the orchestra to create unrivalled ballet scores

The production

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.

Read More: Awakening The Sleeping Beauty - Re-opening the Royal Opera House after World War II

The choreography

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.

Read more: Our highlight from The Sleeping Beauty, the Bluebird pas de deux

The cast

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.

This article has 4 comments

  1. Ian Duncanson responded on 22 February 2017 at 6:01pm Reply

    We are going to a cinema in Oxted Surrey to watch Sleeping Beauty Ballet.It starts at 7.15pm WHAT time does it end?

    • Noelia Moreno responded on 23 February 2017 at 10:02am

      Hi Ian,

      The introduction for cinemas starts at 19:00, the actual performance at 19:15 and it is due to end at approximately 22:25. I hope you enjoy it.

      Best wishes,
      ROH Cinema

  2. 2 questions here:

    #1 - Will Alexander Campbell be performing any role in the upcoming simulcast of The Sleeping Beauty on Feb 28, 2017?

    #2 - Can you find out which theatre(s) in the St. Paul/Minneapolis are will present the above production? Madison is too far away for my students and me to attend?!?!?

    I am very pleased and admire your online presence and also overtime I get to attend a production presented by the Royal Ballet!

    Thank-you! Marius

    • Jimmy Chadda responded on 27 February 2017 at 10:59am

      Hi Marius,

      Alexander Campbell is indeed scheduled to perform in tomorrow's performance of The Sleeping Beauty. Please have a look here for links to the full cast sheet and production information.

      The Sleeping Beauty will be shown on April 11th at the Landmark Lagoon in Minneapolis. For more details, please see the Screening Search section of the Cinema page.

      Best wishes,

      ROH Cinema

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