Of all the full-length works in the repertoire, perhaps none embodies the unabashed exuberance, grace and technical virtuosity of classical ballet as does The Sleeping Beauty. Since its premiere in St. Petersburg in 1890, with a score by Tchaikovsky and choreography by Marius Petipa, the ballet has remained virtually the definitive expression of the western classical aesthetic in dance, casting a spell over generations of audiences, dancers and choreographers, all of whom have responded to its irresistible blend of strong narrative appeal and showstopping spectacle.
While many choreographers have adapted the ballet to their own purposes and visions over the decades, the version created by Rudolf Nureyev in 1966 stands out as being one of the most technically exciting and richly entertaining. Set on The National Ballet of Canada in 1972, it helped put the then still young company on the international ballet map, changing the fortunes and face of the company forever.
Since then, the ballet, with its natural ebullience and dramatic flair, its combination of consummate artistry and sheer showmanship, has always been an audience favourite. Restaged by Artistic Director Karen Kain in 2006, The Sleeping Beauty is one of the National Ballet’s most treasured works and holds a singular place in the company’s history and the affections of its audience.
“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
“NBC’s Sleeping Beauty remains among its most fully accomplished productions.” —Pointe Magazine
“ ★★★★/4 With such dancing this Beauty never slumbers.” —Toronto Star
“dazzling… the National Ballet glitters in this gem of a production.” —The Globe and Mail
Produced, originally 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.
Thursday March 8 at 6:25 pm in the R. Fraser Elliot Auditorium
See the Music, Hear the Dance is a 25-minute pre-performance talk and performance by The National Ballet of Canada Orchestra, hosted and conducted by Principal Conductor and Music Director David Briskin. The programme will explore the music of The Sleeping Beauty and the inter-relationship between the music and the dance. Musical excerpts will be performed by the National Ballet Orchestra. See the Music, Hear the Dance is a famous quote attributed to George Balanchine.
The National Ballet invites you to attend the Ballet Talk 45 minutes before every show (except March 8) in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts.
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.
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