Sleeping Beauty is one of those ballets which is incredibly grand and beautiful. It seems that every character in the movie, whether a Royal or a peasant is good-looking and those at the higher end of society are especially so. Recently a production of The Sleeping Beauty, simply called Beauty has been put on by Bolshoi Ballet and the live performance has been filmed and is set to be distributed internationally.
The theatre in which the production has been filmed is amazing in itself with the chandeliers being just a small part of the overall opulence of the location. A recent renovation to the theatre cost an incredible £700 million and this renovation has made it the perfect location for any stage performance.
The dancing in the production was spectacular and all dancers did an incredible job. For a long time the ballet has been considered as the preserve of theatres in St Petersburg but those in Moscow, such as the Bolshoi Ballet also make it came to it as do many companies that are located around the world.
Depending on which company is putting on the production many aspects of it are changed, but as a general rule the choreography remains the same. In this production by the Bolshoi Ballet they have chosen to set the ballet in 17th-century France. The plumed hats, kneelength stockings and long curls of hair are clear signs of when and where this production has been set. Tchaikovsky’s music remains the same though and counter to convention, some adjustments to the original choreography have been made.
There is nothing quite like seeing the production in person but the film version does a great justice to the ballet and is well worth watching. The camera work is very good and does not let the performance down, as sometimes is the case when a live production is filmed. Those on the stage know that they are being watched in closer detail than they might be normally and they adjust their acting and dancing for this. Their facial expressions are focused on and you can see how great deal of effort has been put in to getting them right.
There are some problems with the production, and the fact that the castle hasn’t aged at the beginning of the second act will be something that you certainly notice, however overall the ballet is incredibly rewarding for the audience. Often in this ballet production it can feel as if the number of people on the stage at points is very large but this is something that Beauty manages to avoid and all the people on the stage seemed to perform with exceptional and cohesion, a testament to the excellent choreography.
For those who choose to watch this production on the screen they will be treated to a ballet with some of the finest dancing that has ever been seen. Complex moves are performed with such delicacy that they seem almost effortless and all performances are done with the utmost perfection.