The Sleeping Beauty

(Lyric Theatre)


Few experiences can match the spell-binding effect of Tchaikovsky’s music to the ballet The Sleeping Beauty.

The beautiful, innocent Princess Aurora (Yanela Pinera) is menaced by the wicked witch Carabosse (Clare Morehen) but rescued from death for a century of sleep by the intervention of Wisdom, the Lilac Fairy (Lisa Edwards).

Cuban dancer, Yanela Pinera, is an audience favourite in the title role. She transports us into a world of joy and wonder. Pineda joined Queensland Ballet as a Guest International Principal in 2015. QB aficionados well recall the stunning performances of the prima ballerina Rachael Walsh in this role in 2009 and before.

There is celebration in the regal household at the birth of Princess Aurora. This mirth comes to a sudden end when the evil Carabosse appears on the scene. Clare Morehen dances this role magnificently. She shows great versatility in playing this malevolent role, just as she did in playing the rescuer role of the Lilac Fairy in the Queensland Ballet’s 2009 production, choreographed by Francois Klaus after Petipa.

On this occasion the role of Wisdom, the Lilac Fairy, is danced ably by Lisa Edwards who brings a touch of magic at the last minute to save Princess Aurora from death. The Lilac Fairy is assisted by Beauty, the Blue Fairy (Mia Heathcote), Wit, the Green Fairy (Eleanor Freeman), Grace, the Orange Fairy (Lina Kim) and Song, the Yellow Fairy (Terri Crilli). Terri Crilli delights with characteristic verve, good humour and precision.

Happily after interval the handsome Prince Desire (danced splendidly by Hao Bin) comes to plant a kiss upon the lips of Sleeping Beauty and awaken her to bliss. Considerable merriment follows, providing ample opportunity for the soloists and the corps de ballet to demonstrate their virtuosity in dancing to this classical ballet score.

The Queensland Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Nigel Gaynor brings vitality to these familiar melodies, making for an entrancing evening.

The costumes designed by Gary Harris are truly sumptuous and stunning. This splendour adds a richness to this age-old tale of the triumph of love and life over death.

Choreography: Greg Horsman (after Marius Petipa)
Composers: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Set and costume design: Gary Harris
Lighting design: Jon Buswell
Conductor: Nigel Gaynor with Queensland Symphony Orchestra
Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes (including 20-minute interval)
Performances: 23 to 31 October 2015

— Matt Foley
(Performance seen: Fri 30th October 2015)