Boston Ballet’s The Sleeping Beauty danced its way into the hearts of a packed house Friday night.‚
The opening curtain revealed vibrant costumes of red and orange.‚ Women of the Court and their men dressed in their best were present at the christening of the Princess Aurora. Young Fairy Godmothers contrasted the Women of the Court in cool colored costumes of blues and purples. The Godmothers each honored the infant princess with a solo dance. Some more traditional, others with flare that caused pleasant laughter throughout the theater. Their graceful flutters across the stage melted with the musical score to tell the story of a happier time.
Through May 3
The Citi Wang Theatre
Gallery of the ballet at practice
While out of synch in places, the use of lines and beautiful choreography made this act a favorite among the audience. At the end of the prologue Fairy Carabosse, arrives and is angered that she has not been invited to the celebration. Riding on stage with the help of her four evil hobbit-like attendants in a chariot made of twisted branches, she casts a dark spell upon the young royal,‚ distressing everyone on stage until the beautiful Lilac Fairy comes to the rescue.
In act one the audience meets the young, graceful, and high-energy princess Aurora. Celebrating her twentieth birthday, four suitors come to court her but she dances with and dismisses them all.‚ When presented with a sparkling spindle from an ominously trudging hooded stranger, she leaps and twirls around the stage with excitement until she pricks her finger. At that moment the hooded stranger reveals herself as the evil Fairy Carabosse and the princess and all her guests fall into a deep sleep that will last for a hundred years until the spell is broken with a kiss from a prince. Layers of curtains fall to build a dense forest around the sleeping princess as act one ends.
The love story between Prince Florimud and princess Aurora comes to life in act two. While hunting in the forest, the prince sees the ethereal dancing princess in visions created by good Lilac Fairy. The Prince tries to dance with the beautiful vision but to his frustration cannot touch her and is soon led by the Lilac Fairy to his sleeping love. Mounting a boat and floating across the stage through fog and woods they finally enter the great gates where the princess lays. The prince enters the room and kisses his love to break the spell.
In the final act the wedding takes place. Everyone from mythical lands attends, from the Puss in Boots and the White Cat to Belle and the Beast. Each performs a duet to honor the soon to be newlyweds.
While some partners danced several times and seemed to take away from the love story, others added comic relief and refreshment. The audience cheered while the White Cat swatted away the advances of Puss and laughed as the two danced in circles chasing each others tails. This act felt very long and didn’t seem to focus on the lovebirds, Florimud and Aurora, who had a few duets with beautiful choreography in which the prince lifted his love into the air in stunning formations.
In the end, the audience gave a standing ovation. The prologue definitely stole the show as well as the Puss in Boots and the White Cat.‚
The Boston Ballet’s performance of The Sleeping Beauty swept up its audience in a timeless love story while still not taking itself too seriously — incorporating silly anecdotes throughout the performance. The show is a hit for all ages with something for everyone and the vibrant costumes and beautiful backdrops are sure to have you sitting on the edge of your seat for the whole Theatre through May 3.