The Royal Winnipeg Ballet performed the classic, Sleeping Beauty as a part of their Fairy Tale Fantasy season. Most of us know the story in its Disney incarnation but did you know that it was adapted by the Brothers Grimm? Originally published by French writer Charles Perrault in 1697 under the title ‘The Beauty sleeping in the wood’ this is a tale that has seen many, many versions!
Still many years ago, Marius Petipa translated this fairy tale into dance in the late 1800’s. But it was in 2002 that the RWB re-staged the ballet with new sets and costumes working cooperatively with their Wardrobe Director Anne Armit and Shannon Lovelace (is there a better name for someone is that job?). And there are an absolutely amazing amount of costume changes. The beautifully crafted traditional Platter or Pancake tutus as their sometimes known, made me think of my dreams of being a ballerina as a little girl.
With music by Tchaikovsky I kept waiting for the Nutcracker scenes to start, it was so familiar! Jo-Ann Sundermeier as Princess Aurora was literally breathtaking. In particular, her performance in the Act 1 Rose Adagio was so impressive, I just couldn’t believe the strength required to get through the number. In an interview with André Lewis, Artistic Director for the RWB, he reminded me that just like athletes who get stronger and faster every year, so to for dancers! Another standout performance, as always was Sophia Lee as the Lilac Fairy. Her grace is captivating when she is on stage, you just can’t help but watch her.
Sleeping Beauty is a wonderful romantic tale with some great surprises! Not the least of which is Puss in Boots and Little Red Riding Hood in the last act. There is love, adversity, comedy, fantastic music, dancing and a beautiful ending. What more could we ask for?
See you at Moulin Rouge!
*Photo credit – RWB, David Cooper