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The Sleeping Beauty is undoubtedly the jewel in the crown of the Royal Ballet, and this month sees the 75th anniversary of its performance at the Royal Opera House, marking the theatre's reopening after World War II.
It is, therefore, fitting that The Royal Ballet should pick this gorgeous work as its next offering in the Friday Premieres series of its #OurHouseToYourHouse programme.
The Sleeping Beauty has absolutely everything audiences can expect from a ballet. A fairy-tale full of incident and magic with an apotheosis of true love; sumptuous original designs by Oliver Messel, augmented by Peter Farmer; a truly glorious – magical, even! – score by Tchaikovsky; choreography that illustrates the Royal Ballet's history with additions to Marius Petipa's original steps by Frederick Ashton, Anthony Dowell and Christopher Wheeldon.
The Royal Ballet, production image of The Sleeping Beauty © ROH 2019. Photo: Helen Maybanks
Most importantly, perhaps, this Sleeping Beauty, recorded during a 2020 performance, has transporting dancing by soloists and ensemble alike. First soloist (and surely principal in waiting) Fumi Kaneko takes on the role of Princess Aurora, danced in that 1946 performance by the company's sole prima ballerina assoluta, Margot Fonteyn. Kaneko is a beautiful dancer, with tremendous technical facility, great musicality and understated, but highly expressive acting. Hers is an irresistible Aurora.
Kaneko's Prince Florimund is the Royal Ballet's stalwart principal Federico Bonelli. An elegant, princely dancer, he is an attentive and experienced partner.
The contrasting roles of the bad fairy Carabosse and the good Lilac Fairy, Aurora's protector, go to principal character artist Kirsten McNally and up-and-coming first artist Gina Storm-Jensen respectively.
A spectacular show, not to be missed!
|What||The Royal Ballet, The Sleeping Beauty stream|
|Where||Online | MAP|
26 Feb 21 – 28 Mar 21, First stream at 19:00. Available on demand after Dur.: 3 hours approx