Moscow City Ballet The Sleeping Beauty Review

Richmond Theatre- until 3rd February 2019

Reviewed by Sara Garner


The Moscow City Ballet received a heart-warming welcome on a cold winters evening in the beautiful Victorian Richmond theatre in their production of Pytor Tchaikovsky’s ballet The Sleeping Beauty. Whilst waiting for the ballet to begin the Hungarian Alba Regia Orchestra (that travels with the ballet) warmed up adding to the anticipation which had reached its peak in my 10-year-old companion for the evening.

The Prologue starts with King Florestan and his Queen celebrating the christening of their daughter Princess Aurora. The master of ceremonies Catalabutte is delightfully camp and comical as he realises that he has forgotten to invite the Fairy Carabosse. Carabosse arrives with an entourage of dark prowling goblins. There is no doubt that the character is an evil fairy wielding a decorative staff intent on retribution and casts her curse predicting that one-day Aurora will prick her finger and die. The Lilac Fairy appears and revokes the curse, promising that Aurora will not die but fall asleep along with the court for 100 years. Aurora will only be awakened by a prince’s kiss after a hundred years.

Act one moves forward to introduce Princess Aurora (Lilia Orekhova) at her 16th birthday party celebrations where the ballerinas capture every small girls dream of being a ballerina in exquisite costumes throughout, accompanied by garlands and flowers intricately incorporated in every movement of their performance. Princess Aurora leads her 4 comical suitors around the stage in a merry dance accompanied by confident and breath-taking dancers conveying their emotions on their faces as well as through their incredible dancing perfectly harmonised with the orchestra. Of course, Aurora receives a gift of a spindle from Carabosse and inevitably pricks her finger which leads Aurora and the court into a sleep for 100 years thus ending Act One.

Act two opens after 100 years has passed, the dancers costumes have changed along with the mannerisms of the court. Prince Florimund (Kozhabayev Talgat) appears in a dreamy sequence dancing hypnotically with Princess Aurora in a forest. The Lilac Fairy guides the Prince to reach King Florestan’s Palace where he defeats Carabosse and awakens the Princess with a kiss and the whole court becomes alive.

Act three opens in the palace ballroom where the court celebrates the wedding of the handsome Prince and beautiful Princess with a grand ball. 15 couples dance in perfect unison and there are appearances from 3 fairy tale characters who attend the wedding to pay their respect which leads to the ballets overall charm and magic.

As the company took their bows the audience showed their understandable appreciation, which was echoed to the orchestra too who reignited my love of classical music. If you get the chance to see this enchanting, magnificent ballet, treat yourself not matter your age.