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The Mass Media

Boston Ballet’s “The Sleeping Beauty” Enchants Once Again


Boston Ballet in Marius Petipa’s “The Sleeping Beauty” 

The classic story of The Sleeping Beauty has been added to Boston Ballet’s 2017 season schedule once again. Based on the age-old fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm, this ballet re-tells the story through an expressive and captivating dance.

Originally, the production was first shown on the stage in Boston in 1992 and has been added again in 2001, 2005, 2009, and 2013 due to it popularity. Now, between April 28 and May 27, this magical show is again performed by the Boston Ballet dancers.

And the company did not spare any expenses to transform its stage into a wonderland of castles and enchanted forests, and to clothe their dancers in the most lavish costumes worthy of kings and queens.

The choreography was first developed by French dancer and instructor Marius Petipa in 1890 during his time in Russia. His production first premiered at the Maryinsky Theater in St. Petersburg and was performed by the Imperial Ballet cast there in that year. However, it was only several decades later in the 20th century that the production arrived to the stages of Europe, premiering in England in 1923 and later on in France as well. When The Sleeping Beauty was finally performed in the United States, it was an instant success and American audiences have been flocking to see this dance-interpretation of the original fairy tale ever since. To the music of 19th century Russian composer Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, original choreography has undergone many adaptation, but never lost its attraction to ballet fans.

At this year’s production of the Boston Ballet, the two leading roles of Princess Aurora and Prince Desire could not have been better fits. Principal dancer Misa Kuranaga from Japan, who joined the company in 2003, and Paulo Arrais from Brazil, who joined in 2010, show a remarkable chemistry when playing each other’s lover interest on stage.

Principal dancer Dusty Button from South Carolina also delivers a strong and beautiful performance for the very demanding role of the Lilac Fairy Cavalier. Yet it is the Argentinian principal dancer Erica Cornejo who delivers one of the most memorable performances in her portrayal of the evil Wicked Fairy Carabosse.

It is not only her dancing, but also her emotional performance during the mime scenes that renders her stage appearance truly impressive and outstanding. While everyone wants the Prince to kiss Aurora and lift the evil spell, Cornejo’s performance almost makes you root for the villain. Again, Boston Ballet did a fantastic job in casting the leading roles with a diverse set of dancers.

Furthermore, this production is also unique in many other ways. While it contains all the elements of a classical ballet, it is far from only being enjoyable for the traditional ballet audience of long-time fans and former dancers. Rather, through its enchanting stage design, the marvelous costumes, the incredible choreography, and the mime scenes, this ballet has become light-hearted and entertaining for first-time goers ranging from all ages.

For more information, go to bostonballet.org.