BWW Reviews: THE SLEEPING BEAUTY at The Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts
There were many children in the audience on Sunday afternoon, and I bet you anything that most of those children will go on to be ballerinas after this inspiring performance of The Sleeping Beauty at the Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts. Is there any ballet more classic than The Sleeping Beauty? It's a story well-known and loved by all, a tale of true love and overflowing with fairy tale characters. The Russian National Ballet Theatre, which was founded in Moscow in the late 1980s, did a splendid job of bringing this story to life. The stunning costumes and scenery also played a huge part in adding to the magic.
Unfortunately, all of the magic of this performance was not enough to overcome the lack of unity within the company. The company did not dance as one, but as a group of individuals, each yearning for the spotlight. When dancing in a line, which the choreography called for multiple times throughout the performance, every little timing flaw or difference in style was made that much clearer. However, I must say that when the company did manage to dance together, their skill and technique allowed the magic of this fairy tale to leave the stage and flow into the audience. This was particularly evident in Act One when the company came together and danced a fun number to the garland waltz, one of the most recognizable numbers from the show thanks to the Disney film adaptation. However, I may be biased toward this number because of the bright colors of the costumers, the flower basket props, and the yearning for spring which it created. The group numbers, however, were not what drew my interest in this performance.
Princess Aurora was so perfectly cast that I was enraptured and hypnotized. With beauty, grace, long lines, high leaps, and her strong and commanding stage presence, Aurora was the definition of a ballerina and princess in one. Aurora encompassed all the traits of a ballerina that the young girls in the audience will one day strive to achieve. I admired her perfect balance, which was tested multiple times as she relevéd on pointe on one foot while prince after prince took turns competing for her heart. Her flexibility, grace, and control while floating across the stage were mesmerizing. It was Aurora's performance that took a good ballet performance and made it outstanding.