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Sleeping Beauty

December 17, 2012
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SleepingBeauty1Event: “Sleeping Beauty” Presented by Singapore Dance Theatre
Venue: Esplanade Theatre
Run: 13th – 16th Dec 2012

Once Upon A Dream

One year shy of its 25th anniversary, the Singapore Dance Theatre brings to us a staging of one of the most beloved pieces in the classical ballet repertoire – the ever-popular “Sleeping Beauty” composed by none other than Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, who also happens to be one of my favourite composers of all time.

“Sleeping Beauty” was the second of Tchaikovsky’s three ballets which he composed, and was also immortalised thanks in no small part to the classic 1959 Walt Disney film of the same name, from which the song “Once Upon a Dream” originated from.

Tchaikovsky completed the score for the ballet in 1889, and it was first performed by the Imperial Ballet at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg on 15th January 1890.

It was choreographed by Marius Petipa, then the chief ballet master of the Imperial Ballet, and the piece is divided into a Prologue and three Acts.

This particular presentation by the SDT clocked in at just over 3hrs inclusive of two intermissions, and this is about 1hr shy of the original length of the entire ballet, which lasts up to 4hrs with intermissions!

Rosa Park and Chen Peng played the roles of Princess Aurora and Prince Florimund respectively when I was there on opening night, and Park has to be specially commended for her mesmerising performance as the sprightly and vivacious princess.

The main sets designed by Tracy Grant Lord were both grand and elegant, giving a requisite sense of regality to the proceedings, while the costumes (also designed by Lord) were resplendent and quite simply a treat for the eyes.

The entire cast list is unbelievably long, and you wonder just how the company has managed to put together a production with such an extensive list of performers.

Things did get slightly draggy at points, especially in Act III when one couldn’t tell exactly how long the various sequences were going to last.

Nonetheless, barring a few minor stumbles, the performance as a whole still manages to delight and entertain both young and old in the audience, thanks also to the inspired sounds of the gifted Tchaikovsky and the age-old tale of true love awakening with a kiss.

Here’s looking forward to a stunning year ahead as the SDT celebrates its 25th year of existence next year!

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