Pacific Northwest Ballet Presents Ronald Hynd's THE SLEEPING BEAUTY, 1/31-2/9
SEATTLE, WA-Pacific Northwest Ballet's 2013-2014 season continues with the perfect Valentine and a happily-ever-after experience for all ages, Ronald Hynd's The Sleeping Beauty. From fairies that really fly to the Prince's wakening kiss and an imperial wedding celebration, each moment of The Sleeping Beauty faithfully portrays the beloved fairy tale with grand storytelling, Tchaikovsky's beloved score, magnificent sets and costumes, and over 30 leading roles. Long regarded as the ideal classical ballet, The Sleeping Beauty's fairytale world was crafted to mirror the splendor of the Imperial Czars, its first patrons. Although this production is as discernibly English as its choreographer, the ballet remains true to Marius Petipa's 1890 original and each act - from the evil fairy Carabosse's flying entrance in the Prologue to the Rose Adagio's spectacular balances to Act III's celebrated Bluebird pas de deux - offers rich opportunities for dancers to demonstrate technique and artistry, and take star-turns. Ultimately, however, the pivotal brilliance of Beauty rests with Princess Aurora; she must captivate as a teenager, inspire a Prince's love as a vision, and awaken a queen, all while mastering some of the most technically grueling choreography in classical ballet's cannon - a genuine mark of distinction for a great ballerina. The Sleeping Beauty runs for nine performances only, January 31 to February 9, 2014 at Seattle Center's Marion Oliver McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer Street. Tickets may be purchased by calling the PNB Box Office at 206.441.2424, online at pnb.org, or in person at 301 Mercer Street.
"The Sleeping Beauty has it all," says PNB Artistic Director Peter Boal, "The production offers a host of larger than life characters ranging from the sweet to the scary. With lavish sets and costumes, brilliant dancing, and Tchaikovsky's wondrous score, it is one of the greatest ballets of all time, promising to enchant audience members of all ages."
ABOUT THE PRODUCTION
Music: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky (Op. 66, 1889)
Choreography: Ronald Hynd after Marius Petipa
Staging: Ronald Hynd, Annette Page, and Amanda Eyles
Scenic and Costume Design: Peter Docherty
Lighting Design: Randall G. Chiarelli
Original Petipa Production Premiere: January 15, 1890; Imperial Ballet, St. Petersburg
Hynd Production Premiere: 1993; English National Ballet
Pacific Northwest Ballet Premiere: February 1, 2001
Running Time: 3 hours (including 3 intermissions)
"[PNB's] The Sleeping Beauty blends tradition with delight. Everything about it is just right."
The Sleeping Beauty represents the pinnacle of 19th-century Russian ballet, a collaboration of dance, music, and design that continues to influence ballet today. The well-known story served as a foundation on which the ballet's creators - composer Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, choreographer Marius Petipa, and designer and director of the St. Petersburg Imperial Theatres Ivan Vsevolozhsky - developed a work that demonstrated a century's worth of achievements in classical dance. Coveted among ballerinas, the leading role of Princess Aurora offers opportunities for a rich display of classical technique and artistic interpretation, from the famed Rose Adagio to the elegiac "vision scene" adagio and finally the triumphant wedding pas de deux.
Pacific Northwest Ballet's production of The Sleeping Beauty by English choreographer Ronald Hynd was originally set on English National Ballet and is based on the historic Royal Ballet version, with which Hynd and his wife, former Royal Ballet ballerina Annette Page, are intimately familiar. That production, in turn, was closely based on the original Sleeping Beauty of 1890.
Ronald Hynd has commented on his own history with The Sleeping Beauty: "In 1946, the Sadler's Wells Ballet [now the Royal Ballet] re-opened the Royal Opera House with a sumptuous production of Marius Petipa's choreographic masterpiece, The Sleeping Beauty. ...As a teenage student I saw many performances during that 1946 season. A group of us, young hopeful dancers from the Rambert School of Ballet, would rush to the gallery whenever we could afford the two shillings and sixpence. ...By the time I joined the company at Covent Garden in 1952, I seemed to know nearly every step of the work, absorbed no doubt by love and ambition. ... Over the years, I had secretly nurtured an ambition to stage my own production of The Sleeping Beauty...Elizabeth Anderton, then Acting Artistic Director of English National Ballet, invited me to present this new staging in 1993 to mark the centenary of Tchaikovsky's death."
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Ronald Hynd was born in London, England. He studied with Marie Rambert and danced with her company until joining The Royal Ballet in 1951. In 1958, he was promoted to the rank of principal dancer and danced an extensive repertoire of classical and dramatic roles, often partnering Margot Fonteyn, Svetlana Beriosova, and his wife, Annette Page. Mr. Hynd was Director of the Munich State Opera Ballet from 1970 to 1973, and from 1984 to 1986. He has choreographed extensively in the United States, particularly with Houston Ballet, as well as with American Ballet Theatre, Ballet West, and Tulsa Theatre Ballet. Among Mr. Hynd's most noted works are Dvorak Variations, which was created for English National Ballet in 1970, and was the beginning of a long collaboration that produced many one-act ballets and original productions of The Nutcracker, Coppélia, and The Sleeping Beauty. Mr. Hynd's The Sleeping Beauty, designed by frequent collaborator Peter Docherty, was presented for the first time outside Europe by Pacific Northwest Ballet during the 2000-2001 Season. Mr. Hynd's full-length ballet, The Merry Widow, entered PNB's repertory in 2002 and was most recently performed in 2005.
Annette Page was born in Manchester, England, and started ballet lessons at age four. She was discovered by Moira Shearer, star of the filmThe Red Shoes, who arranged an audition for The Royal Ballet School. She graduated at seventeen to become a member of The Royal Ballet and rose to leading roles including The Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, Giselle, and The Firebird, frequently dancing with husband Ronald Hynd in Europe, the United States, Australia, and Japan. Ms. Page also danced with Rudolf Nureyev in The Sleeping Beauty and La Bayadere in London, and as Giselle with Erik Bruhn. Other roles included Swanilda in Coppélia, Lise in La Fille mal Gardee, Juliet and Cinderella. She gave her final performance in Seattle as Cinderella prior to her retirement and the birth of her daughter, Louise. Ms. Page has taught and coached as a member of the Arts Council of Great Britain and was ballet mistress to the Bavarian State Ballet in Munich from 1984 to 1986. She currently assists her husband with The Sleeping Beauty, The Merry Widow, and other productions.