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Review: Kansas City Ballet's SLEEPING BEAUTY at Kauffman Center

We are so lucky to live in a city that puts such an emphasis on the arts. There are so many opportunities to support Kansas City artist, and the Kansas City Ballet is an important one.

As their 59th season is winding down, Kansas City Ballet is presenting for the first time, the full-length version of the classic fairy tale The Sleeping Beauty. Hailed as one of Tchaikovsky's best, The Sleeping Beauty is a three-act ballet that follows Princess Aurora (Tempe Ostergren) from her christening to her 16th birthday when the evil Carabosse (Danielle Bausinger) bewitches her and is placed in a deep sleep until her true love, Prince Désiré (Lamin Pereira dos Santos) awakens her with a kiss.

The dancers were beautiful and graceful, of course, and how the interacted with each other was very interesting-ballet has its own mimed language. Santos and Ostergren were perfect dance partners, acting their love through the choreography. Each couple relied on each other to complete tricks and jumps with the amount of passion or humor needed. While most of the dances were about romance and celebration, there were a couple that were about humor and one that was about evil.

Danielle Bausinger shined as the evil Carabosse with her fire-y red hair and jerky hand movements. Her attendants' (Gavin Abercrombie, Nikolas Gaifullin, Lukas Pringle, and Cameron Thomas) movements were loose, just as jerky, and very in your face, to scare every attendant. At the wedding, The White Cat (Emily Mistretta) and Puss in Boots (Joshua Bodden) offered a lot of laughs with their cat-mating dance. Pretending to fight and then rub up against each other. Even Little Red Ridding Hood (Naomi Hergott) and the Wolf (Christopher Costantini) got laughs with their chase around the trees.

The costumes, supervised by Jennifer Carroll, were gorgeous; they were so colorful with beautifully intricate designs. Especially at the wedding with Aurora and Désiré's long white robes with gold swirls. Carabosse's attendants' costumes were very frightening with gruesome masks and green-ish body suits.

The music was incredible and pulled the audience along through all of the emotions. Audiences can even recognize the song "Once Upon a Dream" that is featured in the Disney film. Kansas City Ballet partnered with Kansas City Symphony for the show. The ballet itself has 4 and half hours of music, but Ramona Pansegrau, the Kansas City Ballet's music director and principal conductor, shortened it down to two hours and 28 minutes.

There is interactivity before and after the show where the audience can take pictures with some dancers with the castle as a background, and all the proceeds go to the Kansas City Ballet.

Sleeping Beauty is playing through April 9th with a different, but just as talented cast, April 1st, 7th, and 9th. For tickets call 816-931-8993, online at , or in person at the Kansas City Ballet Box Office located at the Bolender Center at 500 W. Pershing Rd. (west of Union Station).


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