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Excerpts from Act 3 of Ratmansky's reconstruction


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Here are excerpts from Act 3 of Alexei Ratmansky’s reconstruction of Marius Petipa’s The Sleeping Beauty, performed by dancers of the American Ballet Theatre as part of the Works and Process event “American Ballet Theatre at 75” held at the Guggenheim in New York City on the 20th April 2015.

The pieces performed in the video are the following:

1. Precious Jewels Pas de Quatre:

  • The Variation of the Gold, Silver and Sapphire Fairies
  • The Variation of the Diamond Fairy
  • Coda

Dancing the roles of the fairies are:

  • The Diamond Fairy – Skylar Brandt
  • The Gold Fairy – Brittany DeGrofft
  • The Silver Fairy – Lauren Post
  • The Sapphire Fairy – Paulina Waski

2. The Adagio from the Bluebird Pas de deux

  • Princess Florine – Cassandra Trenary
  • The Bluebird – Gabe Stone Shayer

3. Puss-in-Boots and the White Cat

  • Puss-in-Boots – Sean Stewart
  • The White Cat – Isadora Loyola

4. Cinderella and Prince Fortuné

  • Cinderella – Courtney Lavine
  • Prince Fortuné – Calvin Royal

In the 1890 première, these roles were danced by the following dancers:

  • The Diamond Fairy – Anna Johansson
  • The Gold Fairy – Claudia Kulichevskaya
  • The Silver Fairy – Elizaveta Krüger
  • The Sapphire Fairy – Maria Tistrova
  • Princess Florine – Varvara Nikitina
  • The Bluebird – Enrico Cecchetti
  • Puss-in-Boots – Alfred Bekefi
  • The White Cat – Maria Anderson
  • Cinderella – Marie Petipa
  • Prince Fortuné – Iosif Kschessinsky


Alexei Ratmansky has reconstructed these dance passages from the Sergeyev Collection; The Sleeping Beauty was notated in the Stepanov notation method ca. 1903. Ratmansky has even made the genius decision of staging the reconstructed choreography in the style of the 19th century and the whole thing looks splendid to say the least. The glorious costumes from Ratmansky’s production are by British designer, Richard Hudson and are based on the costume designs by Leon Bakst for Sergei Diaghilev’s 1921 Sleeping Beauty production that was staged in London under the title The Sleeping Princess.

Some history of the dance passages

Anna Johansson, Claudia Kulichevskaya, Enrico Cecchetti and Marie Petipa all created and danced two roles in The Sleeping Beauty.

Anna Johansson and Claudia Kulichevskaya created the roles of Fairy Canari and the Breadcrumb Fairy as well as the Diamond Fairy and the Gold Fairy.

Enrico Cecchetti was the first Carabosse as well as the first Bluebird and his performance as the Bluebird caused a sensation at the 1890 première.

Marie Petipa was the creator of the role of the Lilac Fairy and also created the character dance role of Cinderella, which suited her perfectly since she was more of a character dancer than a classical dancer.

The music for the Variation of the Silver Fairy is by far one of the finest pieces of all ballet music. Petipa’s instructions to Tchaikovsky for this variation were “the sound of coins must be heard” and Tchaikovsky, being the musical genius that he was, accomplished this task with wonderful results.

The Bluebird Pas de deux is one of the dances that has drifted so far away from Petipa’s original concept. Both Princess Florine and the Bluebird are portrayed as birds in many modern productions, but in actual fact, Princess Florine is human – the Bluebird is her beloved Prince under the spell of a wicked fairy. The theme of the pas de deux is that Florine has been locked up in a tower by her jealous stepmother and to help her escape from her prison, the Bluebird is teaching her how to fly.

The Dance of Puss-in-Boots and the White Cat was very well-received at the 1890 première, so well received that it was encored. In fact, Tchaikovsky himself requested that Maria Anderson be the creator of the role of the White Cat after he saw her performance as Cupid in Petipa’s grand ballet, The Vestal.

Enjoy! smile.png

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If you want to see the same variations on a larger stage (and with a few different dancers), ABT has posted fully staged performance footage of Diamond (Isabella Boylston), Gold (Stephanie Williams), Silver (Lauren Post) and Sapphire (Melanie Hamrick) Fairies on their Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/AmericanBalletTheatre/videos/10153274361336858/ . Lauren Post--who is looking wonderfully at home on stage nowadays--appears in both versions.

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