Reviewed by Ilze Lee
It turns out you are never too old to lose your heart to a good old-fashioned fairy tale. Which is exactly what happened last night when we went to see the extraordinary ‘Sleeping Beauty’ ballet performed by The Russian State Ballet of Siberia.
Formed in 1978, this company has completed 17 UK tours since 2002. They also had success in many other countries, with dancers who are highly acclaimed worldwide.
With a wonderful bit of history attached to it, Sleeping Beauty is the first ballet that the phenomenal Anna Pavlova saw at age 8, and it inspired her to become a dancer.
This story of love, evil and magic is set in a grand palace, with ruler King Florestan XIV and his Queen welcoming their baby girl, Princess Aurora, into their lives. Magical gifts are bestowed upon her by her fairy grandmothers. That is, until the evil Carabosse who were not invited to the celebrations, casts an evil spell on Princess Aurora, which will come into effect on her 16th birthday. The Lilac Fairy has not given her gift yet, and although unable to completely reverse the spell, she is able to lessen Carabosse’s death spell to one of a 100 years of slumber instead.
The strength and grace of these dancers are absolutely phenomenal. Anastasia Belonogova as Princess Aurora is magical, and as she dances and flirts with her suitors, she pushes her body to the limit and we simply could not take our eyes of her. She carries that grace to the next level when, at her 16th birthday celebrations, she is given a needle and soon gets pricked, finally falling into a deep sleep as the curse is taking hold of her.
It is not just Anastasia’s performance who deserves the utmost respect. All the dancers, through their movement and facial expressions, had the audience under their spell. Egor Osokin as Carabosse delivers something really unique to this character and the Lilac Fairy godmother, Anastasia Osokina, is both utterly serene and strong. Prince Désiré is shown a vision of Princess Aurora by The Lilac Fairy, which leads up to the big moment where he kisses her to wake her up. Fransisco Giminez as Désiré is everything a prince should be and mesmerised the audience.
All the different components together made this performance unforgettable. The set was outstanding and every single one of the costumes was breath-taking, the abundance and colour as well as the attention to detail a real feast for the eyes. The music of Tchaikovsky was delivered by The Russian State Ballet Orchestra, conducted by Anatoliy Chepurnoy and proved to be outstanding. The ballet lasted for 130 minutes, including an interval.
We saw this production at Royal & Derngate theatres in Northampton. It will be followed by Coppélia on Tuesday 28 January and Swan Lake on Wednesday 29 January. There is easy parking near the theatre and the team at Royal & Derngate is always very friendly.
The Russian State Ballet of Siberia tour travels on through the country from there and concludes on the 15th of March. We thoroughly recommend that you go and see one of their productions if possible and give this a full 5/5 rating.
The Russian State Ballet of Siberia is at the Royal & Derngate in Northampton from 27-29 with Sleeping Beauty, Coppélia and Swan Lake, for more information or to book tickets visit www.royalandderngate.co.uk or call the box office on 01604 624811.
Royal & Derngate, Guildhall Road, Northampton, NN1 1DP | 01604 624811