The Sleeping Beauty
Music by Tchaikovsky
Moscow City Ballet
Palace Theatre, 18 February 2011
Victor Smirnov-Golovanov’s ravishing production of The Sleeping Beauty is certain to leave you refreshed, relaxed and alert. It shimmers like an exquisite dream.
Tchaikovsky’s splendid score seduces you, as it always does, whilst the gorgeous sets and Elisaveta Gurenko’s wonderful costumes simply enchant; as a fairy tale should. The diverse colours on show – turquoise, pink, different shades of red and green – suggest exotic cocktails, boiled sweets and fancy desserts.
The dancers are possessed of both poetry and athletic prowess, and we were treated to generous helpings of their wonderful art. In particular, the principals who took the roles of Princess Aurora (Guseva Valeriya) and Prince Florimund (Kozhabayev Talgat) exhibited glorious gifts. They were exemplars of a certain sort of sturdy Russian classicism.
It is the sight of Prince Florimund in virtual flight, circling the stage and attacking pirouette upon pirouette with indomitable vigour, as though he were describing in dance the steadily decreasing orbit of a falling star, that remains uppermost in my mind as I write.
As I have written before, The Sleeping Beauty is a ballet that all can enjoy, even the very young, and it is ideal for introducing children to this form of dance. And if you can inspire them early it is certain they’ll soon want more of it.
Thought and artistry is evident in every aspect of this magnificent Moscow City Ballet production. You’d have to be in a coma to fail to be enlivened by it.
The Sleeping Beauty is at the Palace Theatre until 19 February and visits other UK venues later in the month. Look at the tour dates here.