Like stepping straight into a dream, Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Sleeping Beauty is a grand and lavish production that captures the artistry of Sir Peter Wright’s sublime choreography, performed exquisitely by the company.
Created for Birmingham Royal Ballet’s predecessor, Sadler’s Wells Royal Ballet, in 1984, it remains impeccably beautiful. With a gorgeous score by Tchaikovsky performed by the Royal Ballet Sinfonia, it contains every element of ballet needed to create a ravishing production, especially the leading female role Aurora which appears to be one of the most technically challenging of them all.
It opens in the royal palace, the King and Queen have invited all the fairies to the christening of Princess Aurora. When the evil fairy Carabosse turns up, she storms in to curse Aurora, so that on her sixteenth birthday she will prick her finger and die. When the Lilac Fairy arrives, she reverses the spell and instead Aurora will fall asleep and be woken after 100 years by the kiss of a handsome prince. 100 years later the Prince is searching in the forest, sees the beautiful princess asleep and wakes her up with a kiss, ending with a magnificent wedding.
Dancing the role of Princess Aurora is Momoko Hirata who moves like magic. She glides across the floor, every movement appearing effortless as she encapsulates the role of the elegant princess. Opposite her, Mathias Dingman shines as the smitten Prince, dancing with confidence and charisma. Together they are divine and their Grand pas de deux in Act 3 is nothing short of a masterpiece.
Nao Sakuma and Jenna Roberts as the contrasting Carabosse and Lilac Fairy bring light and shade to the performance with their different spirits. The decadent costumes compliment both the evil and good fairy and this is reflected in their expressive movement. It’s a strong character piece and act three displays a series of characters such as Puss-in-Boots, Red Riding Hood and more and these performances are utterly charming, particularly Lachlan Monaghan and Yaoquian Shang’s Bluebird and Enchanted Princess.
Prepare to fall under the spell and be completely captivated by the sheer splendour of Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Sleeping Beauty that boasts perfect technique, extravagant production values and world-class performances.