Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts to Present THE SLEEPING BEAUTY, 3/23

Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts at Brooklyn College (BCBC) concludes its 2013-14 World of Dance series with the internationally acclaimed Russian National Ballet Theatre's interpretation of The Sleeping Beauty on Sunday, March 23, 2014 at 3:00pm. Tickets are $36/$45 and can be purchased by phone at 718-951-4500 (Tues-Sat, 1pm-6pm) or online at

With its fairy tale story of a beautiful princess, a passionate prince, and the evil spell that threatens their happiness together, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's The Sleeping Beauty was composed in 1888-89 as a commission by Ivan Vsevolozhsky, head of the Russian Imperial Theatres in St. Petersburg. Tchaikovsky did not hesitate to accept the commission, in spite of the fact that his previous ballet, Swan Lake, met with little success after its first year of performance.

Based on The Brothers Grimm's version of Charles Perrault's story La Belle au bois dormant, and choreographed by legendary Imperial Ballet Master Marius Petipa, The Sleeping Beauty premiered at the Imperial Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg on January 15, 1890. The premiere received more favorable accolades than Swan Lake and, by 1903, was the second most popular ballet in the repertory of the Imperial Ballet, having been performed 200 times in only 10 years.

The Sleeping Beauty was the first of Petipa's classics to be seen in Western Europe. Under the title The Sleeping Princess, it was presented by Serge Diaghilev (1872-1929) in London in 1921. In 1939, it was remounted in Great Britain and has been considered the foundation of the Classical ballet repertory in that country ever since. It has now been adopted worldwide, and performance of the leading role remains a kind of initiation rite for aspiring ballerinas.

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