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Sleeping Beauty

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The casting changed a bit. Sara Webb replaced Barbara Bears as Aurora. Hmmm, I hope Bears is okay; she didn't perform on the 20th, either. I wonder why Phillip Broomhead has been doing so many mime roles lately (he's listed as King Florestan throughout all the SB performances, and I remember him miming in Alice of last year). I was really hoping to see him dance Prince Florimund. Guest artist Robert Curran of the Australian Ballet replaced Simon Ball as one of the four princes in Act I at Aurora's birthday party.

During the Prologue, the biggest disturbance was the squeakiness of the fairies' pointe shoes. They must have really caked on the rosin. Lauren Anderson danced the part of the Lilac Fairy. There is something very appealing about her stage presence; her technique isn't perfect, but her dancing commands attention. I can't quite describe the effect she has on the audience. Nicholas Leschke made a strong partner for Lilac. Other cavaliers were Lucas Priolo, Barry Kerollis, Caleb Mitchell, Randy Herrera, and Carl Coomer. Kerollis is a joy to watch; he seemed to be enjoying himself onstage. Tyann Clement suited Carabosse perfectly. She was fierce, tall and leggy, and she had very strong technique. She pulled off the role flawlessly.

I was impressed with the corps in the Ist and IInd acts. Everything was together and uniform. They were well rehearsed (and the squeaking disappeared!). Webb was perfectly believable as the naive 16 year old Princess. Although I was disappointed I didn’t get to see Bears dance, Webb did a terrific job. Her technique was precise and her balances were rock solid. She has a charming and radiant personality on and off stage. I wonder when she’s going to be given a promotion; I think she has definitely proved herself worthy of principal status these past couple of years. Walsh danced Florimund, and everything I’ve said of him in the past held true. His technique may be diminishing slightly, but his bravura feats are still an audience pleaser.

Jaquel Charlesworth, Kelly Myernick, Curran, and Coomer danced the pas de quatre of the last act beautifully. Puss-in-Boots (Caleb Mitchell) and the White Cat (Clare Miklaunus) were wonderfully witty. When they came out, a boy sitting in the box next to mine exclaimed “It’s Puss-in-Boots, ma!” The kids loved them. Leticia Oliveira was Princess Florise and her Bluebird was Ilya Kozadayev. It was the fist time I saw Kozadayev dance, and he made a great impression on me. His tours e’lair and other jumps were explosive yet subtle in landing. I’ll have to keep an eye on him.

Has no one else seen Sleeping Beauty? :)

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I truly wanted to make it to this performance, but just couldn't do it. I know a group of my students were going to make the trek downtown, but I've not yet heard their reactions. Did the house appear to be full, Old Fashioned? I only ask because it seemed rather empty when I went to see "In the middle...." Granted, the story ballets always draw a larger crowd. I have had mixed feelings about Sara Webb's performances in the past, but I have no doubt she was wonderful as Aurora. I have a much easier time thinking of her as Aurora, or Swanhilda, than I do as, say, Odette. But regardless, surely a promotion is in order soon!

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Oh yes, I'm pretty sure all of the performances for SB were full because they simply refused to give me student rush tickets. The Houston crowd isn't familiar with contempo ballet, I guess.

I see what you're saying about Webb. I saw her (at least I think it was her as Odette/Odile...back then I wouldn't pay attention to those things) in Swan Lake (was it two years ago?) awhile back, and although I don't remember her much in that ballet, I don't think of her as much of a "dramatic" dancer. She's great in roles like Alice, Aurora, or Swanhilda, like you said.

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