Photographer: Nadya Pyastolova

Classic fairytale brought to life on stage at the Pilbeam

IT'S a fairytale that never fails to enchant audiences the world over - and now the classic ballet Sleeping Beauty is touring throughout Queensland.

Artistic director Elik Melikov, founder of Moscow Ballet La Classique, said he was proud of the production and looking forward to seeing the ballet come to life in front of Australian audiences.

Melikov said there were three pairs of principal dancers featured in the show, which tells the timeless story of Aurora and her prince charming.

Speaking with the help of a translator, Melikov shared what he loved about the ballet.

Ekaterina Shalypina in a scene from the Moscow Ballet's Sleeping Beauty. Supplied by Lionel Midford Publicity. Please credit photo to Nadya Pyastolova.
Ekaterina Shalypina in a scene from the Moscow Ballet's Sleeping Beauty. Supplied by Lionel Midford Publicity. Please credit photo to Nadya Pyastolova. Photographer: Nadya Pyastolova

"Everybody knows the story - everybody knows it, from children to adults," he said.

"It's a very popular ballet throughout the world."

He said it was wonderful the see the reaction of audiences when the ballet was performed.

Composed of two acts, Sleeping Beauty starts with the christening of Princess Aurora.

The king forgets to invite the bad fairy, Carabosse, who bursts into the castle at the conclusion of the ceremony.

Carabosse curses the princess, stating that she would die from the prick of a knitting needle on her 16th birthday.

The king orders that all knitting needles in the kingdom must be destroyed and that anyone in possession of one will be executed.

Sixteen years later, Aurora dances with each of the four princes who have come to ask for her hand.

Carabosse, disguised as an old woman, appears in the hall and presents the princess with a bouquet of flowers.

But concealed in the flowers is a knitting needle and Aurora pricks her finger, falling into a deep sleep.

The second act is set 100 years later when Prince Deserea and his party are hunting for birds in the forest when he encounters the Lilac Fairy.

The Lilac Fairy makes the prince go to sleep, where he dances and falls in love with Princess Aurora.

But Carabosse bursts into the dream, steals the princess and takes her to her castle.

When the prince awakes, he sees the outline of the castle and, drawing his sword, he charges into the castle where he finds Aurora.

He kisses her gently and after 100 years, the princess awakens.

Carabosse is defeated and the court wakes and celebrates the wedding of the prince and princess.

Melikov said the dancers in the production were recruited from some of the most famous Russian ballet schools, with the company only accepting graduates from the schools.

Melikov, trainers and choreographers were responsible for selecting dancers to join the company.

The scenery and costumes were created at various workshops and factories in Russia, Melikov said.

"To make the sketches and designs for our productions, we invite the artists (from) all over Russia," Mr Melikov said.

"The scenery is prefabricated or collapsible as they (have) to be transported and easily assembled when the company is on a tour," he said.

"There are some performances when we use live horses, dogs, a donkey, as well as aerialists.

"But unfortunately it is very difficult to bring them to a tour. To see such a production we invite you to come to Moscow."

The 25-year-old company preferred to perform with live music, Melikov said, and it had its own orchestra when it performed in Russia.

Performances:

 

  • April 7 at Bundaberg's Moncrieff Theatre
  •  
  • April 9 at the Civic Theatre in Cairns
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  • April 12 at Mackay Entertainment Centre
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  • April 13 at Gladstone Entertainment Centre
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  • April 14 at Pilbeam Theatre in Rockhampton
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  • April 15 at the Brolga Theatre in Maryborough
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  • April 17 at The Events Centre in Caloundra
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  • April 18 at The Arts Centre on the Gold Coast
  •  
  • April 19 at the Empire Theatre in Toowoomba


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