128 years since it was first staged, The Sleeping Beauty has become one of the world’s most popular ballets. The Sleeping Beauty is adapted from the 1697 Charles Perrault tale, “The Sleeping Beauty in the Wood.” The musical score by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky is adored – even being used in the Disney version of the fairy tale. Choreographed by Marius Petipa, the challenging choreography is as demanding as it is beautiful. The Rose Adagio, performed by the princess in Act I is considered one of the most difficult adagios in all of ballet.
2018 is the 200th anniversary of Petipa’s birth, in honor of that, Columbia City Ballet is excited to produce this ballet which was first presented at the Marinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia on January 15th 1890. The Sleeping Beauty is a part of Columbia City Ballet’s extensive repertoire and the 2019 production is the 11th time the company has produced the ballet.
The Sleeping Beauty is Tchaikovsky’s longest ballet. Originally, with intermissions, the ballet was nearly four hours in length! Ballet companies around the world, including Columbia City Ballet, generally edit the score. William Starrett’s staging for Columbia City Ballet is approximately 2 hours, with 2, fifteen-minute intermissions.
As you listen to Tchaikovsky’s score, you will notice two musical themes representing good (Lilac Fairy) and evil (the fairy Carabosse). These themes repeat whenever those characters are on stage. This musical device is known as a “leitmotif,” and serves as a means to emphasize the roles of these characters in the plot.
Columbia City Ballet’s 2019 production of The Sleeping Beauty pays tribute to Petipa’s 2001 birthday. This classic ballet continues to enjoy immense popularity 128 years after its Russian premier and 81 years after its United State debut. The incomparable artistic and production standards of Columbia City Ballet make this a production worthy of the term legendary. Do not miss this stupendous production of The Sleeping Beauty!