|Indiana Woodward and Anthony Huxley, photo @ An Rong Xu|
Natural Auroras in Sleeping Beauty are surprisingly rare for a ballet that's performed so often, all over the world. Many ballerinas try it, many ballerinas can do the steps, but very few ballerinas have that combination of charm, radiance, joy, AND classical technique to really pull off the transformation from a sixteen year old in the birthday party to the regal monarch in the wedding scene. Margot Fonteyn was a legendary Aurora. A film made when she was 50 showed that she could still nail all the Rose Adagio balances and be a remarkably convincing teenager. In my live ballet-going experience, Alina Cojocaru, Diana Vishneva, and Sterling Hyltin are/were wonderful Auroras. Well tonight I can add another natural Aurora to this very small list: Indiana Woodward.
|Woodward as Aurora, photo @ Erin Baiano|
|Huxley, LeCrone, and Woodward, photo @ Erin Baiano|
|Huxley as Prince Desire, photo @ Erin Baiano|
|Ralph Ippolito, Roman Mejia, and Christopher Grant as the buffons|
|Mira Nadon as Courage, photo @ Devin Alberda|
But still, the evening belonged to Indiana and Anthony. This is the first Sleeping Beauty I saw with them but I know it won't be the last. In fact, there's another performance with Indiana and Anthony on Sunday, February 24. If you don't have a ticket, buy one.
|Sterling Hyltin as Aurora|
Here is a clip of the Vision Scene with Hyltin and Reichlen. Russell Janzen was the Prince. (Janzen by the way looks princely and partners well but desperately needs stamina when it comes to solo work -- he just about gave up dancing in the Wedding pas variation and coda.)
- Sara Mearns on Instagram often talks about "going crazy." Sometimes that's not entirely appropriate to the ballet she's dancing. But it is absolutely appropriate when she's playing Carabosse, or "Sarabosse" as she dubs it. She gave a wickedly fun, over-the-top performance in the otherwise rather joyless Tiler Peck (Aurora)/Tyler Angle (Prince)/Ashley Laracey (Lilac Fairy) performance.
You can see Sara Mearns' awesome "Sarabosse" in this video:
- Adrian Danchig-Waring (still out due to injury) made a welcome return to the stage as a hilariously over-the-top King, and it was paired with Aaron Sanz's even funnier Catalbutte. No other King/Catalbutte pairing quite tapped the duo's comic potential the way Danchig-Waring and Sanz did.
|Forever the best White Cat and Puss n Boots|
- Sydney Rose Gerstein was an adorably spunky Little Red Riding Hood.
- Peter Martins' Sleeping Beauty might be too streamlined for some and the intermission after the Vision Scene is awkward, but it continues to serve as a great showcase for the entire company, and it contains one choreographic gem: Balanchine's Garland Waltz, an exquisitely intricate dance where SAB students weave in and out of the corps de ballet. It was one of the last things Balanchine choreographed and this is the only production where we can see his Garland Waltz. For that reason alone, Martins' Sleeping Beauty is a treasure.
And now, here is NYCB in an unexpectedly funny promo for Sleeping Beauty: