I saw Stanton Welch's Sleeping Beauty last night. It was like a new look at the old ballet. I prefer the original story line but the ballet was alright. The story goes like this: The Lilac Fairy is the Queen of Spring and she has chosen Aurora to be the new Herald of Spring. Carabosse is the Queen of Winter. The Lilac Fairy has decided to make Spring earlier than expected. Carabosse is furious at this and curses Aurora to death. If Aurora dies, then the world will be plunged into Winter forever. The Lilac Fairy changes the spell so that she will only fall asleep, not die. At her 16th Birthday, Aurora is poisoned by some thorns which Carabosse has made and falls asleep. The whole kingdom falls asleep and the world is plunged into eternal winter. 100 years later, Florimund and his brother (who know nothing of "Spring", "Summer", and "Autumn") are hunting in the woods when they are greeted by wood nymphs who show them a vision of Aurora. Florimund is instantly besotted with Aurora and asks to see her. When he awakes Aurora, the whole kingdom celebrates and they get married.
What I did like:
- The Six Fairies were constant throughout the whole ballet and played a big role in the ballet.
- Use of music. There was more of the music used than in most productions of the ballet, though some dances were skipped!
- Drama. Well-choreographed to give much more drama and effect.
- The playful banter between Puss-in-Boots (though he was called the Ginger Cat) and the Bluebird and the Canary Fairy.
- The Pas de Deuxs were much more interesting than in previous versions though at some points were too hard and a few stuff-ups occured.
- During the Panorama in Act II (which was changed to merge with Act III) the trees which were sets moved about the stage which was such a great effect.
- Music was at good tempi. I hate watching some Russian ballets because they always slow the music down so painfully much that it is sometimes hard to put together the tunes.
What I didn't like:
- The costumes. There was only one tutu in the whole ballet! The fairiers wore awful body-suits with a single layer of tulle for a sort of dress thing.
- Dances were skipped! The finale mazurka was skipped! How can you even think if skipping a ballet's finale!? Also: Little Red Riding Hood was skipped. The Fairy Pas de Quatre in Act 3 was changed to a Pas de Cinq for four of the original fairies and Florimund's brother. Florimund's brother had half of the introduction as his variation, then strangely enough they skipped the first variation and made the second variation a pas de deux!
- No Lilac Fairy attendants. What the.
- It was set somewhere in the orient instead of Russia.
- The fairies were: the Air Fairy, the Earth Fairy, the Water Fairy, the Fire Fairy and the Canary fairy.
- What seem like lack of preperation. Alot of the choreography was sloppy and alot of the dances weren't in lines, etc. So it seemed that they didn't practice for very long at all.
- The new storyline.
- Dolls? There were these things that were constantly onstage that were like dolls or something. They were really weird and very distracting.
- Things just rolled on. I think the only bows or curtsies were from Aurora and Florimund in Act III. It's fair enough that you don't bow or curtsy if onstage there is no one watching you, but if there is! So it meant that the next music started while everyone was still clapping and you missed the first part of the music which was always frustrating.
Stanton Welch's Sleeping Beauty
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