Rudolf Nureyev put The National Ballet of Canada on the map when he staged his own version of The Sleeping Beauty for the company in 1972. Showy and opulent, it set off an unprecedented period of international touring and acclaim for the young company and its dancers and it remains a jewel in the National Ballet repertoire today. Full of dazzling variations and set to Tchaikovsky’s unforgettable score, The Sleeping Beauty is a ballet lover’s dream.
King Florestan and his Queen attend the christening of their baby daughter, Princess Aurora, where they are interrupted by the evil fairy Carabosse. Angered that she was not invited to the christening, Carabosse tells the court that Princess Aurora will one day prick her finger and die. The gentle Lilac Fairy amends the curse, promising that Aurora will not die but rather fall asleep for a hundred years, until she is kissed by a prince.
Rudolf Nureyev trained in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) before joining the Kirov Ballet, gradually distinguishing himself as one of the great male dancers of his generation. After defecting from the Soviet Union, he formed an historic partnership with Margot Fonteyn. He was Artistic Director of Paris Opéra Ballet from 1983 to 1989 and its Principal Choreographer until 1992.
The late 19th century Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky created some of the most popular works in the classical repertoire, particularly his three full-length scores for ballet: Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker. His body of work includes full-length operas, multiple symphonies and concertos.
“I have seen many 'Sleeping Beauties,' but never a finer one than this moving and beautiful production....This is a company of strength at every level.” —The Washington Post
“Dazzling… the National Ballet glitters in this gem of a production.” —The Globe and Mail
“ ★★★★/4 With such dancing this Beauty never slumbers.” —Toronto Star
Produced, originally staged and with additional choreography:
Rudolf Nureyev, after Marius Petipa
Karen Kain, C.C., LL. D., D.Litt., O Ont. and the Artistic Staff of The National Ballet of Canada
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Set and Costume Design:
Premiere: Teatro alla Scala, Teatro alla Scala Opera House, Milan, Italy, September 22, 1966
The National Ballet of Canada Premiere: National Arts Centre, Ottawa, September 1,1972
The Sleeping Beauty is made possible by generous contributions from Margaret Fleck & Jim Fleck, C.C., The Catherine and Maxwell Meighen Foundation, Sandra Pitblado & Jim Pitblado, C.M., Gretchen Ross and Nancy Pencer & Michael Benjamin.
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