Scottish Ballet - Sleeping Beauty
Dynamic and opulent restaging of Ashley Page's 2007 hit
Choreographed by Ashley Page in 2007, as part of a triumvirate of winter ballets he has made with designer Antony McDonald, Sleeping Beauty is opulence itself. Opening in a Victorian hothouse, the guests at Princess Aurora’s christening are lavishly dressed – but this is nothing compared to what is to come.
Each scenario steps the production up a gear, with the costumes almost deserving the same billing as the principals. As with all Page/McDonald creations, however, what’s most interesting is the narrative route they take to tell the story.
Fusing elements from several different versions of the original tale, the duo take us from 19th century palatial splendour, to a forest filled with fairytale characters in search of a happy ending, before ending in a stylish 1940s hotel. Page’s choreography undergoes something of a journey, too.
At first the delivery has a traditional, almost prim feel, with plenty of pointe shoe action. But unsurprisingly, given the modern sensibilities of this talented company, the later stages have a more arresting quality. In particular a wonderfully free pas de deux danced by Aurora and her Prince upon waking – a moment of true romance in amongst all the dynamic storytelling.
Edinburgh Festival Theatre, Wed 11–Sat 14 Jan. Seen at Theatre Royal, Glasgow, Wed 21 Dec.