Regional Dance Preview: THE SLEEPING BEAUTY (American Ballet Theatre at Segerstrom Hall)

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by Tony Frankel on February 16, 2015

in Theater-Los Angeles,Theater-Regional,Tours

REAWAKENING A TIMELESS BEAUTY

ABTSleepingBeautySCFTACosta Mesa’s Segerstrom Center for the Arts once again proves itself as one of the country’s most exciting dance centers by presenting Alexei Ratmansky’s all-new full-length production of American Ballet Theatre’s The Sleeping Beauty, the classic 1890 ballet originally choreographed by Marius Petipa at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg. ABT’s world premiere production also honors Serge Diaghilev’s seminal 1921 Ballets Russes production, as set and costume designer Richard Hudson follows the historic, exotic, richly colored work of set designer and scenic painter Léon Bakst. In addition, Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s cherished score will be played live by Pacific Symphony. This not-to-be-missed event plays March 3-8, 2015.

Choreographer Alexei Ratmansky. Photo by Fabrizio FerriA former ballet dancer himself, Ratmansky trained at the Bolshoi Ballet School and was its artistic director before becoming artist in residence at ABT. The indefatigable star choreographer—Nutcracker for ABT, Lost Illusions for the Bolshoi, and Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet for the National Ballet of Canada—shows no signs of slowing down. Ratmansky, who has long wanted to choreograph a version of The Sleeping Beauty, has proven himself as a magnificent storyteller. “Tchaikovsky’s complex score and Petipa’s choreography represent the highest achievement of Russian classical art,” said Ratmansky. “It symbolizes the harmony and magic of classical dance for me.”

ABT 75

This is the Company’s fourth production of the ballet, and Ratmansky’s eleventh work for ABT, which marks the 75th anniversary of its founding with both new and old programs. The exciting premiere of Beauty coincides with the dusting off of repertoire that made the estimable company one of the world’s greatest: See Stage and Cinema’s review of ABT’s All-American Celebration in Chicago.

NF_Bucket_abt_facebookThe basic story of The Sleeping Beauty concerns the wicked fairy Carabosse: Enraged by being slighted at the christening of Princess Aurora, she casts a curse on the child, proclaiming that she will one day prick her finger and die. The Lilac Fairy intervenes, and when the fateful day arrives, the princess and the entire palace instead fall into a deep sleep. Over a century later, a prince is guided to the castle by the Lilac Fairy to awaken the sleeping princess with a kiss.

The New York premiere arrives at the Metropolitan Opera / Lincoln Center May 29-June 16, 2015, followed by co-producers Teatro alla Scala, which presents the ballet September 26-October 23, 2015. The Segerstrom offering will provide us with ABT’s big-gun principals, which means die-hard patrons can see five different casts!

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Tuesday, March 3 at 7:30 p.m.
Aurora – Diana Vishneva
Prince Désiré – Marcelo Gomes
Saturday, March 7 at 2 p.m.
Aurora – Isabella Boylston
Prince Désiré – Joseph Gorak
Wednesday, March 4 at 7:30 p.m.
Aurora – Gillian Murphy
Prince Désiré – James Whiteside
Saturday, March 7 at 7:30 p.m.
Aurora – Diana Vishneva
Prince Désiré – Marcelo Gomes
Thursday, March 5 at 7:30 p.m.
Aurora – Hee Seo
Prince Désiré – Cory Stearns
Sunday, March 8 at 1:30 p.m.
Aurora – Hee Seo
Prince Désiré – Cory Stearns
Friday, March 6 at 7:30 p.m.
Aurora – Paloma Herrera
Prince Désiré – Denys Nedak (guest)
* * * * * * * * *
Sunday, March 8 at 7 p.m.
Aurora – Gillian Murphy
Prince Désiré – James Whiteside
* * * * * * * * *

photos courtesy of Segerstrom and ABT

The Sleeping Beauty
American Ballet Theatre
Segerstrom Center for the Arts
600 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa
plays March 3-8, 2015
preview talks with Elizabeth Kaye one hour prior to each performance
for tickets, call (714) 556-2787 or visit www.SCFTA.org

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