Tchaikovsky's The Sleeping Beauty is one of the best loved of classical ballets. The inspired performances of its revival for the 75th anniversary of the Company in 2006 make this a superb tribute to The Royal Ballet's unique style and visual splendour.
Unlike Swan Lake which I have 10 versions (unfortunately non have won me over completely, wait a minute, Ulyana Lopatkina is a very beautiful swan and her prince Danila Korsuntsev is quite good also: this is the Mariinsky Ballet, under the direction of Valery Gergiev version, I want to say that this version is quite satisfactory for me), for Sleeping Beauty, I have 4 versions, and I have to say the one I am reviewing is to my uncritical taste very satisfactory. Alina Cojocaru, Marianela Nunez, and the prince of Federico Bonelli are all very good, especially Marianela is a very outstanding Swan, but I don't have her dvd, I saw her perfomance on YouTube. The rest of the cast generally are very good also.
Alina Cojocaru is well cast, she is young enough for the role, and she certainly is an excellent dancer. Marianela is a very celestial fairly queen, and Bonelli is a handsome prince.
I have to say that the whole production keeps me interested throughout: I would of course recommend to whoever is interested in buying Sleeping Bueaty, this is the version to spend your precious money. .
I’ve seen this ballet when I was younger and I know it well,I also wanted to have a version of this ballet and I am glad to have decided for this one, first because it is a wonderful performance and second because it is familiar for me the Petipas’choreorgaphy. All main characters :Aurora, the Prince and Lilac Fairy played by Alina Cojocaru, Federico Bonelli and Marianela Nunez were excellent, graceful when they have to be or virtuosos if it is required especially in the last pas de deux at the end of III act . The different dances were very beautiful and charming. The scenery was enchanting, like a real fairy tale especially in the second act when Lilac Fairy guided the prince to the palace through the enchanted forest. The costumes were lovely, the lights very effective. The orquestra was impressive, sound was great. DVD is high recommended.
The Sleeping Beauty Ballet by the Royal Ballet is sweet, spectacular, and satisfying to watch. Although it is Tchaikovsky’s more “sleepy” ballet without neither the excitement of a Christmas eve sword-fight between a Nutcracker-Prince and a Mouse King nor the drama of a Prince having to choose a wife that ends in a swan’s suicide, The Sleeping Beauty Ballet is a more elegant and fundamental form of storytelling. The “beaux arts” score of Tchaikovsky pristinely fits the storyline of a princess who falls asleep when a spell is placed upon her only to be awakened with a kiss from a handsome Prince. The dancing in this particular production by The Royal Ballet is reflective of their excellent tradition, with a high degree of precision and elegant formulation. The whole production, from the costumes to the scenery to the music to the storyline, all have a colorful softness that is most appealing. A stunning solo dance by the sleeping beauty to the accompaniment of a solo violin in Part I is complemented by an exquisite duo between the sleeping beauty and the handsome Prince to the accompaniment of a solo viola in Part 2. The final ‘pas de deux’ between the pair is spectacular and is performed to the accompaniment of an oboe’s plaintiff wail and the descending scales of a piano. This beautiful production by The Royal Ballet shows that while Tchaikovsky was the master of overblown drama, he was also the master of understated grandness.
Seeing this version reminds me of what happens when you buy a new television. One set may look to have all you might want, but put it alongside others in the shop and differences appear which change your mind.My view of this work falls into the first category- to accept it for what it is as a production filmed of a company that has been performing it for a very long time and as a star vehicle for Margot Fonteyn in her heyday.Now it's Alina Cojocaru's turn and she shines in the title role of a performance which hits all the right notes in a cheerful rendition of this old favourite.This is a fairy story well told, well acted,well costumed and well danced with an excellent surround soundtrack. What is also remarkable is that two other dancers could equally have stepped into the lead role and acquitted themselves with distinction- Marianela Nunez (the Lilac Fairy) and Sarah Lamb in the Bluebird divertissement.Both were exceptionally good and Sarah Lamb gave us a brief dynamic glimpse of what she can offer in a major role.Compared to how well Cojocaru carried off the Rose Adagio (beautifully) it can only be a pleasant thought as to how Sarah Lamb would have interpreted it.Other characterisations are also convincing and well presented-Federico Bonelli is a handsome dashing Prince who partners Cojocaru seamlessly, while Genesia Rosato is a suitably manic Carabosse whose rats are a real hit- they are superb and nearly steal the show. The minor roles are carried off well and the whole production has a good look and feel to it so this is a good buy. Caveats ? A few which are of little account as no one is going to return and amend the production because of viewer's opinions, but yes the music has been interfered with (yet again) and there are cuts which irritate the knowledgeable.And again I make the point that close-ups are unnatural by showing perspiration and heaving chests which work against the illusion being created all of a piece onstage.They also tend to miss key events happening elsewhere and I for one prefer to see the whole scene as I would at a live performance. Family members who saw this at the ROH also mentioned this which reminded them of how much better the live version was (which it always is of course).In a similar way, considering how important dancers' feet are in what they do,showing only threequarter views of the body is criminal and should be a key issue in Camerawork 101.There are not many of these transgressions but one is too many for me. So should you buy it ? Well I say yes if you want an excellent example of the Royal Ballet style shown well in one of their key traditional productions- and on that basis it fits in very well with the other versions I have from the Bolshoi,POB,Kirov et al.And that is not faint praise but be ready for the differences when you make comparisons with the others and join the debate about what is the best overall version.
I loved this ballet. The costumes were so gorgeous. It was also dance really really well. The dancers emoted everything. You could feel their sadness and happiness. I liked who was cast in certain roles. It so hard to describe how beautifully done this is. If you have even the tiniest enjoyment from watching ballet, watch this and you won't be disappointed.