Royal Opera House: The Sleeping Beauty
Royal Ballet 2019⁄20 Season: Sleeping Beauty
The Royal Ballet’s signature production returns, with the majesty of Tchaikovsky’s music combined with the lyricism of Marius Petipa’s choreography.
There are few dance pieces within the repertoire of classical ballet as beloved and moving as this gorgeous rendering of the Charles Perrault’s fairy tale. He wrote it, along with ‘Cinderella’, ‘Puss in Boots’, ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ and ‘Bluebeard’ for his 1697 book ‘Stories or Tales From Past Times’. Almost two centuries later, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky premiered his ballet, as a prologue and three acts, at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg. Sitting between the equally popular Swan Lake (1876) and The Nutcracker (1892), The Sleeping Beauty (1889) arrived during the golden age of Russian ballet and would become Petipa’s most enduring success.
The Royal Ballet’s version also includes sections choreographed by Frederick Ashton, Anthony Dowell and Christopher Wheeldon. This production was performed in 2021, celebrating the 75th anniversary of the performance that marked the reopening of the Royal Opera House after the end of the Second World War. It’s an unfettered joy that captures all the magic and wonder of the original tale.