Perhaps the definitive and certainly one of the most luxuriant and purely entertaining of 19th-century classical ballets, The Sleeping Beauty has held its special place in the affections and enthusiasms of dance lovers the world over since its premiere in St. Petersburg in 1890.
From the simplicity and intimacy of the famous fairy tale on which it is based, the ballet opens out into a spectacle of grand virtuosity, generous and incomparable displays of technique, ravishing stagecraft and unapologetic theatrical ostentation. The Sleeping Beauty has long been considered an almost ideal instance of the integration of music and dance and it is arguably the greatest of the Tchaikovsky-Petipa collaborations. Its breadth of musical and choreographic vision, its incorporation of so many dance styles and traditions into one radiant whole and its combination of sophistication and accessibility make it a classical ballet nonpareil.
Rudolf Nureyev brought his distinctive and ebullient theatricality to bear on his version of The Sleeping Beauty, which the great dancer set on the National Ballet in 1972. Today, it remains one of the company’s most beloved and admired works.
“A grand jewel in the National Ballet of Canada’s repertoire” National Post
“This Sleeping Beauty is a grand jewel in The National Ballet of Canada’s repertoire. Not only does it feature a treasure trove of classical riches, it once again proves why this company is among the best in the world.” —National Post
“Dazzling… the National Ballet glitters in this gem of a production.” —The Globe and Mail
“Nureyev’s production for the NBC is blessed with beautiful choreography, intelligent drama, and visual opulence. Nicholas Georgiadis’ designs look as sumptuous today as they did when the company premiered it in 1972. Karen Kain, herself a lovely Aurora, has staged the ballet with an understanding of everything needed to make it sparkle.” —Ballet Review
“Canada’s Beauty is a reminder that Tchaikovsky’s music was, after all, made for dancing.” —Dance Europe
Produced, staged and with additional choreography:
Rudolf Nureyev, after Marius Petipa
Karen Kain, C.C.
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Set and Costume Design:
The Sleeping Beauty is made possible by generous contributions from Margaret & Jim Fleck, C.C., The Catherine and Maxwell Meighen Foundation, Sandra Pitblado & Jim Pitblado, C.M., Gretchen Ross and Nancy Pencer & Michael Benjamin.
The National Ballet invites you to attend the Ballet Talk one hour before every show. Enhance your experience and learn more about our productions from National Ballet artists and Ballet experts.
Our hugely popular Ballet Talks will take place in R. Fraser Elliot Hall in the Four Seasons Centre one hour before every performance. All ticket holders are welcome. Seats for everyone!
Get more insight into The Sleeping Beauty through our Virtual Museum featuring set and costume sketches, footwear, artifacts and more from the National Ballet Archives.
As Canada's largest ballet company, the National Ballet is proud to present full-scale performances of classical masterworks like The Sleeping Beauty.
Be the first to know when casting is announced by signing up for Ballet News.
Top image credit: Sonia Rodriguez in The Sleeping Beauty. Photo by Aleksandar Antonijevic.