Good evening all! Have you had a good post-festive season weekend?!
I was very fortunate this weekend to have the opportunity to go and see Sleeping Beauty the ballet at Saddlers Wells Theatre in London so I thought I would do a little review. Though unfortunately there won’t be any photos as you are not allowed to take pictures in the theatre.
When I was a little girl my Mum used to take my sister and I to see the Nutcracker at Christmas. My sister was a keen ballet dancer spending hours watching Angelina Ballerina and practicing at the local ballet studio and so absolutely loved these trips, I just tagged along for the ride!! We always saw classical ballet productions where all the dancers would be en-pointe, and look fairly identical.
As I got older and saw photos of dancers feet on the internet I found classical ballet less and less enjoyable to watch, the idea that they looked so beautiful but underneath it all were in suffering from horrendous blisters made it an uncomfortable watch.
Then last week I had the opportunity to go and see Sleeping Beauty (and take my Mum!) which was choreographed by Matthew Bourne. It completely revolutionized the way I view ballet! It is a modern ballet production and did not involve any pointe work yet was enchanting and beautiful. Also, the dancers varied a lot more in height then previous productions I had seen, though were obviously still very athletic people.
This production was incredibly dark compared to the Disney story but was also very humorous. The show began with a puppet of the baby Aurora who was completely mischievous in a way I had never imagined the princess to be. The puppetry was a really clever and interesting technique and really drew in the audience.
I was particularly impressed by the fairies, both the good and the bad. I can’t remember his name (I didn’t buy a program so maybe never knew to begin with… ) but the dancer playing the ‘evil’ fairy was incredible. He completely owned the stage and gave me the shivers!
Equally the ‘good’ fairy was a fantastic dancer. Right from when he first entered the stage I found it was impossible to keep my eyes off him, his dancing was enchanting and captivating. Then just before the interval he makes you question whether he was ‘good’ or in fact had a bit of ‘evil’ in him. I won’t spoil the surprise in case you go and see it!
Naturally the dancer playing Aurora was also incredible and the control she had over her body was insane. At many points during the show she was completely reliant on others keeping her safe and it was quite something to see.
The only character that I was less keen on was the ‘Prince’ who actually wasn’t a Prince at all but instead a gardener. I really liked how it started out with the secret romance but unfortunately the role was just a little wet, other people fought all his battles for him!
I was really surprised by how much of the story I was able to understand from the dancing (having not seen a ballet in many years!) as this was quite a variation on the story I know and love. I was really impressed by this show and surprised by quite how much I enjoyed it. Should I get the opportunity to go to another ballet choreographed by Matthew Bourne I would definitely jump on it!
This production is running until January 24th 2016 and I highly recommend going if you have the opportunity. Tickets start from £11 which is less then some cinemas!!!
Let me know in the comments below if you have been to see a ballet this festive season and if you have, your impressions!