Monday, April 1, 2013

Boston Ballet's The Sleeping Beauty

Boston Ballet’s The Sleeping Beauty captivates the soul, ignites the imagination and leaves one breathless. Growing up as an only child, my vivid imagination and tenacious creative spirit often provoked these senses and left me dreaming about gleaming garments, lavish banquets and charming princes. Practicing ballet was my window into the dazzling world of fantasy.

Don’t expect the animated Walt Disney version of Sleeping Beauty at Boston Ballet. This legendary rendition was based on La Belle au Bois Dormant, a fairytale written by French author Charles Perrault. 
Choreographed by Marius Petipa and first performed in 1890 to the score of Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, the classic tale involves a beautiful princess, handsome prince and the enchantment of sleep.

Veteran Boston Ballet dancer, Misa Kuranaga, plays the alluring Princess Aurora; a role she danced once before in 2005. In a recent interview, Kuranaga told me she relishes in the dynamics of the dance. Aurora is known as the most technically demanding role for a ballerina,” she said. In the first act entrance, Aurora is a sixteen-year-old girl with her future ahead of her. When I come onstage, I leave Misa behind and become a teenager again." Kuranaga added, “It is one of the most enjoyable roles I have ever danced.”

The set design is an elaborate masterpiece of opulent colors, grandiose garlands and elaborate detail. Costumes hail from the imagination of David Walker and range from period pieces to museum-worthy works of art. “There is a unique costume for each principal character and beautiful matching tunics and tutus for the men and women of the corps de ballet,” Kuranaga explained.

Princess Aurora’s wardrobe consists of vintage wear made in the early 1970s by the acclaimed costumier. Kuranaga opens the first act in a stunning pink tutu which lends a youthful look. Later in the third act, as Aurora prepares to wed Prince Desiré, the ballerina is adorned in white and gold.

The Sleeping Beauty welcomes surprise guests from other fables written by Perrault including Little Red Riding Hood and Puss in Boots. Many of the tales were rewritten by the Brothers Grimm and have been adapted to opera, theatre and ballet. Naturally, I fell in love with the endearing and playful banter between Puss in Boot and the White Cat.

Boston Ballet’s The Sleeping Beauty serves as a true lesson in life. The synthesis of right against wrong and love opposite hate is a central theme that audiences of all ages can appreciate. Performances run through April 7 at the Boston Opera House. Click here to purchase tickets.

{photos courtesy of Rosalie O'Connor}

My attendance was courtesy of Boston Ballet.


  1. It was seriously one of the most beautiful performances I've ever been to!


    1. It really was beautiful. Puss in Boots and the White Cat was hilarious.

  2. Yeah, she isn't kidding when she calls it technically advanced. I was shamed into working out immediately post performance! It was so beautiful, even hubs was seriously impressed.

    1. I feel the same way. Whenever I get home from a dance performance, I immediately want to work out.