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So far, Sleeping Beauty has not received the battering of other Petipa works. There's John Neumeier's "the Prince in blue jeans" relevant and up-to-date version (which I've never seen). And there's Marcia Haydee's absolutely ghastly, Carabosse as Kabuki monster who never leaves the stage version. Otherwise, the trend seems to be to cut lots of female choreography and replace it with dances for men (Tomasson).

Actually, writing this -- thinking out loud, as it were -- there ARE a lot of revisionist productions out there -- Nureyev's in addition to those mentioned above. Yet, to me, "Sleeping Beauty" remains "Sleeping Beauty" despite all the fiddlings and twitchings.

What's your position on this? Granted that what we know as "Sleeping Beauty" in America dates pretty much from the Sadler's Wells version, which was thought to be "authentic" but had already undergone some changes.

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ALSO, 'the sleeping beauty' was recently re-visioned by mats ek. it's on tape too, and v. much in line of his 'giselle' in terms of reworking. i know he's done 'swanlake' too but i'm not aware of this on tape, but that doesn't mean it isn't available in europe.

fyi: the dance coll. cat. listing for 'beauty':

Sleeping beauty (Choreographic work : Ek)

Original title: Dornröschen. Chor.: Mats Ek; mus.: Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky (The sleeping beauty, with numbers in rearranged order); scen. and cos.: Peder Freiij. First perf: Hamburg, Staatsoper, June 2, 1996; Hamburg Ballet

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I saw that "Sleeping Beauty" by the Cullberg Ballet a few years ago in Lyon, and was very disappointed: I like Ek's "Giselle" a lot, and find his "Swan lake" interesting, but that "Sleeping Beauty" looked quite empty to me (and quite ugly too, the costumes really weren't good).

Perhaps also it was weakened by the fact that the cast was less good that that of his "Giselle" and "Swan lake" (I think that Ana Laguna and Yvan Auzely are excellent modern dancers).

There is a video of his "Swan Lake", with the original cast (Laguna as Odette- Odile, Auzely as Siegfried), it was shown on the French-German channel ARTE a few years ago. As far as I know, there is no commercially available tape of it in France (unlike his "Giselle", which was on a commercial tape).

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One thing that struck me most about the new/old Kirov version was its moral seriousness; it could be seen as an extensive meditation on the difference between justice and mercy, with of course, mercy winning out. There is sometimes a little of this in Western versions, but even the old Royal Ballet Sergeyev version cut a lot of the King's mime scene, it seems to me. So I think fundamentally, it has changed from the original, maybe not so much choreographically or structurally as the others (poor Swan Lake!) but I think there is a big difference in approach between the King as an important figure torn between two ideals, and Sleeping Beauty as an excuse for lots of very beautiful dancing.

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There does seem to be an expectation that modern audiences want All Dance All the Time and none of that silent-movie stuff, and it becomes a vicious circle because the more brief and perfunctory the mime, the less meaning and interest it carries, leading to the cutting of even more mime since it's so boring, and on and on.....

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