Scottish Ballets Sleeping Beauty

Ever since its Glasgow premiere back in December 2007, the Scottish Ballets inventive retelling of the Sleeping Beauty has received great plaudits, and is now enjoying a timely and well deserved revival.

It follows the typical route of the yuletide productions that Ashley Page, the choreographer and soon to be departing director of the Scottish Ballet, and Antony McDonald, the designer, produce. The beautiful and swirling music from Tchaikovsky is set amidst a whirl of comedic touches, innovations that are almost surreal and historical references that are very clever.

You can only hazard a guess at what Marius Petipa, the ballets original choreographer, would have made of the heroine falling asleep after pricking her finger on a cactus plant that had been given to her by some wicked fairies who were disguised as gardeners. The beauty of this exemplary show is the balance it finds, crossing between traditional and outlandish seamlessly.

The party thrown to celebrate the christening of the unlucky princess Aurora could have, in many ways, come from the mind of Petipa himself. Set in an imperial garden in Russia the stage is ablaze with the Regency colours of the early 19th century. The arrival, however, of Carabosse the witch and her vulcan eared, egg headed daughters Lucinda and Pina confronts us with an image akin to something from the mind of Hieronymous Bosch.

Genteel blends with gothic, the dancing dynamic and captivating, and the overall show exceptional.