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PA Ballet's Sleeping Beauty

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OK, nobody's reporting?

[The usual excuses here] I'm doing a season report for Ballet Review so have to be brief here. After seeing ABT's version, PA Ballet's is like a lovely comforting meal after having fled the monkey-brains banquet.

Costumes and sets are lovely (but really, the King and Queen are wearing the same outfit 16 years later?)

Choreography is mostly traditional in some parts (Vision scene, Grand Pas, Rose Adage) and classical pastiche in others (Christening) but the substitutions aren't egregious; they're slight variations in the same style. It's a healthy production for the company - within its reach but challenging and will keep up the level of their dancing.

I got Arantxa Ochoa/Zach Hench as the leads. Ochoa's a bit brittle, but can do it. Hench also can do it, but is a surfer boy prince; he doesn't seem to know how to walk on stage. He scuffs like he's wearing bunny slippers.

Gabriella Yudenich is a delicious Lilac. Not yet a steely technique, but lush movement and warmth. Very promising.

Heidi Cruz looks the nicest I've ever seen her in the Jewels pas de trois. It's shuffled - The boys (gold & silver) dance to "Diamond", and Cruz (Diamond) dances to Silver. It doesn't harm the meaning of the ballet, so no big deal.

Frankly, if I had to opt between seeing ABT and this one, ABT's dancers are on a higher level of course, but I was much happier in Philadelphia.

So who else went?

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I also had the pleasure of going to both the ABT and PAB Sleeping Beauty performances and agree with the previous post. If I had to pick one to go to again it would definitely be the PAB performance. Personally, I did not care for the new ABT choreography and to be quite honest I found the dancing at PAB better as well. Standouts for me in this performance were Valerie Amiss as Lilac Fairy, Tara Keating as Carabosse, Barrette Vance as Fairy of Energy and Gabriella Yudenich as Diamond.

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PA Ballet's performances appeared to have been a success based on the reviews I have posted below. I had the opportunity to see both ABT's Sleeping Beauty and PA Ballet's. PA Ballet's rendition was much more pleasing, and had less pyrotechnics than the ABT version, which was undoubtedly less distracting and kept the interest solely in the dancing/dancers rather than ABT's version where the focus was mainly on the 'magic' and odd flamboyancy of the production.





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Please ,those of us in San Francisco need t know, how is Julie Diana doing?

She is very much missed here -- she first came to notice as the White Cat, at which she was simply stupendous. She was not a virtuoso, but what a personality! Her first Aurora was rather tentative, but still... quite lovely.

Aurora may never be her greatest role -- she is/was a romantic dancer rather then a classical one, a natural Juliet, and a memorably moving Giselle. but she was moving towards it....

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