Ticketmaster Summer in Stages

Sleeping Beauty

Music by Tchaikovsky
Moscow Ballet La Classique
Castle Theatre, Wellingborough, and touring
(2011)

Sleeping Beauty production photo

Wellingborough has recently been treated to a quite spectacular production - perhaps understandably brilliant - Moscow does know how to produce a good ballet.

The Moscow Ballet La Classique brings together classics - classic Tchaikovsky music, Marius Petipa's original choreography and Charles Perrault's classic tale, Sleeping Beauty. It would be hard for this line up to go wrong wouldn't it?

On the whole - this was a allet oozing with quality and showcasing a strong ensemble of dancers. Just one unfortunate incident where curtain and light seemed to be out of sync and the audience sat waiting. This seemed genuine bad luck than sloppy planning.

So what were the magic ingredients in this production of Sleeping Beauty? The sets were as opulent as ever, although perhaps slightly one dimensional - painted flats made shiny by material and sparkly his and hers thrones. These are painted flats but perhaps the most luxurious painted flats you've ever seen.

The ensemble pieces were a delight - the director Elik Melikov obviously cast an all-seeing eye from afar for even with this large collection of dancers in such an expansive space the timing and unity were spectacularly well executed.

The 'suitors' dance stood out in particular - a beautifully crafted piece that conveyed meaning and relationships symbolically and metaphorically, lifting the status of 'beauty' high towards the stars.

The costume design deserves plaudits. The 'evil witch' with (predictable) blacks and red rivalled the less obvious purple fairies. There were sparkles and colours galore to please the collection of young ballet dancing eyes watching.

The pas de deux collection ranged from some that seemed to be there to flesh out the performance, to the other end of the scale where, for example, the athletic and stylish 'Blue Bird' dancer was outstanding. All added in some way to the fairytale world of Sleeping Beauty.

A beautiful ballet by a company who bring together talented dancers from across Russia, Kiev and Odessa to perform for the delectation of audiences around the world. Look out for Moscow Ballet La Classique. You won't be disappointed.

Reviewer: John Johnson