THE SLEEPING BEAUTY
music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.
London Coliseum St. Martin’s Lane WC2N 4ES To 19 January.
7.30pm Mat Tue, Thu, Sat 2.30pm.
TICKETS: 0871 911 0200.
then Tour to 2 March 2013.
Runs 3hr Two intervals.
Review: Carole Woddis 9 January.
Lovely to look at, delightful to view.
The Sleeping Beauty was the signature ballet of the old Sadlers Wells, later Royal Ballet. Any classical ballet company worth its salt aims to have a production of it in good working order. By that criteria, English National Ballet could be said to be in top form at present.
Their Sleeping Beauty looks fantastic in costumes designed by Nicholas Georgiadis, with extra choreography by Kenneth MacMillan alongside Maurius Petipa’s original. In fact it is very much a `Royal Ballet’ product, being remounted by a collaborative group including MacMillan’s widow, Deborah MacMillan, and former principals of the Royal Ballet, David Wall (ex-ENB Ballet Master) and Alfreda Thorogood in 2005.
Georgiadis, one of MacMillan’s favoured designers, responsible for costuming his Royal Ballet full length classics Romeo and Juliet, Manon and Mayerling, dresses the stage in sumptuous Louis Quatorze-inspired brocades, bathing it in blues and golden hues (set redesign by Peter Farmer). The second act Hunting scene is particularly striking, a study in black, brown and dashing white.
Then the choreography. You can see immediately the gap between a `traditionalist’ Sleeping Beauty and Matthew Bourne’s recent revamping. Live music apart, played here with passion by the ENB Orchestra under Chief conductor, Gavin Sutherland, Bourne’s account certainly gives the Manichaean fairy story a much needed contemporary injection. But, you can’t beat the sheer choreographic drama and bravura technical turns of Petipa and MacMillan.
With ENB’s current artistic director Tamara Rojo taking the central Princess Aurora role, there is no lack of quality. Or in her Prince, Vadim Muntagirov, Russian-Royal Ballet school trained in the `danceur noble’ tradition, long limbed, graceful and athletically air-borne. Rojo, whilst secure in the fiendish `Rose Adagio’, seemed weighed down by the cares of the world rather than the required joyful teenager on the brink of womanhood.
Nonetheless, at her back is an excitingly rock solid, internationally-drawn ensemble – including two Carlos Acosta siblings, Yonah and Crystal – dancing their hearts out – and in James Streeter – a sequined ball-gowned, ginger haired Bad Fairy Carabosse – a dancer of dramatic qualities and stage presence you long to see again.
Cast (9 January 2013):
King Florestan XXIV: Daniel Jones.
His Queen: Jane Howarth.
Cattalabutte: Michael Coleman.
Princess Aurora: Tamara Rojo.
Prince Désiré: Vadim Muntagirov.
Lilac Fairy: Daria Klimentová.
Carabosse: James Streeter.
Fairy of the Crystal Mountain: Begoña Cao.
Fairy of the Enchanted Garden: Adela Ramírez.
Fairy of the Woodland Glade: Lauretta Summerscales.
Songbird Fairy: Shiori Kase.
Fairy of the Golden Vine: Nancy Osbaldeston.
Cavaliers: Arionel Vargas, James Forbat, Fabian Reimair, Zhanat Atymtayev, Yonah Acosta, Lauren Liotardo.
Lilac Fairy’s attendants: Jem Choi, Araminta Wraith, Senri Kou, Anjuli Hudson, Kesi Olley-Dorey, Crystal Costa.
English Prince: Arionel Vargas.
Spanish Prince: Fabian Reimair.
Indian Prince: James Forbat.
French Prince: Esteban Berlanga.
Aurora’s Friends: Crystal Costa, Adela Ramírez, Laurretta Summerscales, Ksenia Ovsyanick, Senri Kou, Marize Fumero.
Countess: Bridgett Zehr.
Gallison, the Prince’s aide: Juan Rodríguez.
Gold: James Forbat.
Diamond: Begoña Cao.
Silver: Jem Choi, Senri Kou, Laurretta Summerscales.
Puss in Boots and the White Cat: Anjuli Hudson, Juan Rodríguez.
The Bluebird and Princess Florine: Shiori Kase, Yonah Acosta.
Red Riding Hood and the Wolf: Nancy Osbaldeston, Max Westwell.
Choreographer: Kenneth MacMillan, after Marius Petipa.
Designer: Peter Farmer.
Lighting: David Richardson.
Costume: Nicholas Georgiadis.