Set to the dramatic and powerful score of Tchaikovsky, “The Sleeping Beauty” is a ballet that has everything: a classic love story, the struggle between good and evil, mystical lands and a bewitching plot. Marius Petipa’s classical stunning choreography is re-shaped by Sir Peter Wright’s ideas in this ballet.
Featuring Tchaikovsky’s famous Rose Adagio, which is often cited as one of the most complex sequences in ballet, “The Sleeping Beauty” places great technical demands on its dancers. The music of Rose Adagio is sublime and consists of great sweeping crescendos that have to be matched equally by the dancers on the stage; too often productions can fall short in this sequence alone.
The stage sets should be opulent and full of dreamlike worlds consisting of eerie forests and magical otherworldly creatures. The music should also express tender love and sweetness; after all it takes a spell-splintering kiss to wake the Princess.
Prince Désiré is the one who must break the evil spell cast on beautiful Aurora and restore the natural balance, like the thaw of spring after the world has been turned to eternal winter by a malicious Snow Queen.
There are two conflicting worlds in the story; the reality of the Imperial Court and the realm of magic and mystery with forests, fairies and nymphs. Running central to the ballet are the polar opposites of white magic with the Lilac Fairy versus the evil dark spells of spiteful witch Carabosse, and both have a leitmotif to express them, which ghost through the ballet.
The only real flaw in “The Sleeping Beauty”, if you are looking to criticise anything, is it doesn’t provide the wonderfully expressive range for dancers that ballets such as “Manon”, “Giselle” or “Carmen” do, where the characters are given real depth and multi-faceted personalities.
Essentially, this ballet’s main protagonists are pure and uncomplicated lovers; the classic children’s fairytale princess and her handsome prince. But there is no doubt that this is a production of sensational quality and to miss out on it would be a tragedy.
In the end, as in keeping with the laws of the universe, the good magic overpowers the evil and there is a happy ending. Princess Aurora deserves it after 100 years of sleep.
It is a fairytale after all.

“The Sleeping Beauty”

Opera House, Andrássy út 22, District VI
Saturday April 16 until Thursday April 28

Tickets and information:

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