The Prologue – which depicts a celebration for the christening of Princess Aurora – displays the only moments of stiltedness and nerves amongst the expansive corps, with a little raggedness occasionally visible. This is hard not to forgive however, as the stage is filled by Nicholas Georgiadis’ spectacular array of costumes, the most grand saved for Aurora’s dazzling fairy godmothers.
The grace and poise of this quintet is the highlight of this opening act. Begoña Cao executes with fine precision and is beautifully elegant as the Fairy of the Crystal Fountain. Rising stars of the company Rina Kanehara and Katja Khaniukova both give assured performances as the Fairy of the Golden Vine and the Enchanted Forest, respectively. Both dance their solos with maturity and musicality, handling Tchaikovsky’s score confidently.
It is this sweet and picture perfect opening, enhanced by Peter Farmer’s lush green set design, which is dramatically invaded by James Streeter’s magnificently evil Carabosse. Streeter commits fully to this role, he paces the stage, eyes wide with anger at the betrayal of his forgotten invite to the party.
James Streeter as Carabosse, Shiori Lase as The Like Fairy in The Sleeping Beauty, photo Laurent Liotardo
It’s not until act one that the audience finally meets a fully grown Princess Aurora, and goodness she is worth the wait! Having been glimpsed in ENBs recent triple bill where she danced in William Forsythe’s Approximate Sonata 2016, Alina Cojocaru makes her classical return after maternity leave – and what mesmerising one it is.
Entirely believable as a fresh faced sixteen year old, Cojocaru dances with exquisite lightness and ease. She executes the tricky balances of the famous Rose Adagio effortlessly, extending her leg to the six o’clock position in one wonderful flourish each time. The innocence of Cojocaru’s Aurora is so pure. The joyous way she dances with the spindle presented to her by Carabosse in a rather feeble disguise is similarly enchanting.
Shiori Kase’s assured Lilac Fairy is a dependable ally throughout, especially when guiding lovestruck Prince Désiré (Joseph Caley) to the sleeping Aurora. Kase has a testing job, returning in each act to direct the action, but she demonstrates a quiet authority suited to the Lilac Fairy’s gentle, ethereal nature; never distracting the audience from the Prince and Aurora in act two.
Culminating in a grand wedding celebration, the full company hit their stride to reach a fittingly regal finale. Shevelle Dynott and Jennie Harrington provide some light hearted support as an imposing Wolf and a skittish Red Riding Hood.
Macmillan is not known for fairytales, but his sumptuous Sleeping Beauty is a wonderful showcase for the current dancers of English National Ballet, in which both corps and principals can impress. There are an array of soloist roles on offer, which provides a great opportunity for Tamara Rojo to really to demonstrate the depth of talent in her company.
|What||ENB, The Sleeping Beauty Review|
|Where||London Coliseum, WC2N 4ES | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Charing Cross (underground)|
06 Jun 18 – 16 Jun 18, 19:30 matinees Thu 14:00 & Sat 14:30 Dur.: 3 hours including two intervals
|Website||Click here to book via the Coliseum website|