When I was eight or nine years old I started dancing at our local studio. My mum wanted me to do ballet but even at that age I was stubborn and thought I was the coolest – and so I did Jazz. And I loved it. But now as a decrepit, inflexible and unfit 22-year-old I wish I had done ballet (helped along by healthy sessions of the movie Centre Stage). This wishful feeling has now been multiplied a thousand-fold after attending the opening night of The Australian Ballet’s Sleeping Beauty.
Artistic Director David McAllister’s vision was beautifully complemented by the most opulent and dazzling set and costume design I have ever seen in my life. Sleeping Beauty harks back to the Sun King’s reign with liveried servants, full skirts and powdered hair and pompous courtiers – over 200 costumes are on display.
McAllister’s Princess Aurora was as graceful and beautiful as any princess. But she was also flirty and youthful and pure joy as she swept across the stage. From the moment Aurora came out you knew why she was the lead ballerina – she is grace personified and performed such dazzling feats of strength and skill that I was swept away. Safe to say the smile barely left my face and an audible gasp escaped my mouth as the two lovers kissed.
My favourite scene of the ballet was the final Ball. Opulent is honestly the only way to describe the stage, awash with gold, marble and crystal chandeliers. The fairies are gorgeous and the evil fairy is truly terrifying and dramatic – I loved it! As for the Prince? Well, I don’t know what else to say except ‘wow’!
It’s safe to say that The Australian Ballet’s production of Sleeping Beauty is a feast for the eyes and the ears. Whether a ballet beginner or a seasoned member, Sleeping Beauty will delight your senses and have you coming back for more.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to book some adult ballet classes.
Charli W. is a creative writer, food lover, and Harry Potter aficionada in her last year of a History degree. She is sure she will find a way to combine these things one day, to great success. If not, she’ll pack up and become a bartender somewhere in the Caribbean with a fabulous year-round tan.
Sleeping Beauty is running until the 26th September at the Melbourne Arts Centre before touring Perth and Sydney.