Boston Ballet's spring season will continue with Marius Petipa's The Sleeping Beauty on March 22 - April 7. Those whose imaginations were inspired by the shimmering beauty of The Nutcracker will be struck by the extraordinary history and sheer opulence of The Sleeping Beauty.
First choreographed in 1890 by Marius Petipa, the ballet has undergone several adaptations over its long history. This quintessential version, originally staged by Dame Ninette de Valois in 1939 and again in 1977, honors the distinguished ballet lineage with original choreography from Petipa, his assistant Nicolas Sergeyev and Sir Frederick Ashton.
When Mikko Nissinen first introduced Petipa's The Sleeping Beauty to the Company in 2005, he re-united the de Valois commissioned sets and costumes designed by the peerless David Walker with the 1977 Royal Ballet production. Boston Ballet performed this gorgeous rendition again in 2009 and it was met with ecstatic audience response as well as local and national praise. The New York Times raved the production was "claimed with luster and brilliance" and "a superb achievement".
"I am very proud of this production and the aptitude of our dancers in it", said Boston Ballet Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen. "This version of The Sleeping Beauty is as good as it gets, from stunning scenery and costumes to vivid storytelling and choreographic pedigree."
The ballet features the illustrious "Rose Adagio," in which Princess Aurora is presented to her four suitors and is considered to be one of the most difficult sequences in classical ballet. Three Boston Ballet dancers, Lia Cirio, Ashley Ellis, and Adiarys Almeida, will be making their Company debuts as Princess Aurora, joining Misa Kuranaga who has been highly acclaimed for their portrayals. The male lead will showcase Boston Ballet's talented Jeffrey Cirio, John Lam, Lasha Khozashvili, Paulo Arrais and Nelson Madrigal in the classic role of Prince Desire.
Hilary Cartwright, a former Royal Ballet soloist and Ballet Mistress served as guest regisseur, lending her first hand expertise with this Sleeping Beauty production. Cartwright has served as Associate Director for the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and Director of the Nederlands Dans Theater II and continues her work with American Ballet Theater's JKO school and instructing a specialized form of yoga for dancers.
Seen for the first time in Boston Ballet's current home, The Boston Opera house, The Sleeping Beauty is one of the largest productions presented by Boston Ballet; with 384 glittering costumes in each performance and characters in full period dress. This tale of the spellbound Princess Aurora features legendary roles, including the ethereal Lilac Fairy, the artful Bluebird, and the evil Carabosse. The adventure comes to a triumphant close in the Act III wedding celebration attended by notable fairy tale characters such as Little Red Riding Hood, and Puss N' Boots.
The magical fairytale was derived from a story by Charles Perrault, called La Belle au Bois Dormant. Set to a magnificent score by P.I. Tchaikovsky, the work has become one of the most famous ballets in classical repertoire. The familiarity of both the romantic narrative and the magical score make this full-length story ballet an enjoyable experience for the whole family.