Review of Vienna Festival Ballet’s Sleeping Beauty

PUBLISHED: 21:29 10 April 2013 | UPDATED: 21:31 10 April 2013

Sleeping Beauty asleep in the Vienna Festival Ballet's production of Sleeping Beauty

Sleeping Beauty asleep in the Vienna Festival Ballet's production of Sleeping Beauty


PLAYWRIGHT and author Johnny Tait reviews Vienna Festival Ballet’s production of Sleeping Beauty.

The Lilac Fairy in Sleeping Beauty by the Vienna Festival BalletThe Lilac Fairy in Sleeping Beauty by the Vienna Festival Ballet

A STORY that originated in the 17th century and has been told in many different ways since, including an adaptation by The Brothers Grimm in 1812 entitled Little Brae Rose and made into a full length animated film by Walt Disney in 1959, has been taken on tour by The Vienna Festival Ballet Company, founded by acclaimed dancer Peter Mallek.

The tale of Sleeping Beauty, which most of us recognise as pantomime, is very much brought to life in ballet with a musical score by Tchaikovsky.

The good people of The Fairy Kingdom are celebrating the birth of Princess Aurora, when suddenly the wicked fairy Carabosse gatecrashes the party, accompanied by her two henchmen in the form of gigantic apes, and casts a spell on Aurora that on her 16th birthday she will prick her finger and die.

At Aurora’s 16th birthday party Carabosse arrives disguised as an elderly lady and presents her with a posy.

Sleeping Beauty by the Vienna Festival BalletSleeping Beauty by the Vienna Festival Ballet

Hidden inside is a pin which Aurora pricks her finger on and falls asleep. She does not die because The Lilac Fairy had changed the spell.

Now here’s the thing, if you thought you had problems getting your teenage daughter out of bed in the morning, how do you think Aurora’s parents felt?

She slept for 100 years until a handsome Prince came along and woke her with a kiss.

In true fairytale form they got married and lived happily ever after, and the wedding celebration was a treat for all with excellent choreography, and colourful costumes.

Among the wedding guests dancing for our entertainment were Puss in Boots, and even Little Red Riding Hood and The Big Bad Wolf put their differences aside to perform together for us.

Overall we witnessed a stunning display of high quality family entertainment.

The Vienna Festival Ballet company has made this stunningly visual art form that dates back to the 16th century available to everyone, by taking it out of the big cities and into regional theatres, and also making the ticket prices affordable to all.

Whether you are a fan of ballet, or are thinking of going along for the first time, you may be pleased to know The Vienna Festival Ballet Company will be tip-toeing to the Hawthorne Theatre in Welwyn Garden City on April 28 to present for us Coppelia.

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