PNB’s The Sleeping Beauty

A fairy tale come to life!

You won’t want to miss Pacific Northwest Ballet’s last performances of this beloved production… Love it for the last time!

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Prince Florimund (Karel Cruz) & Princess Aurora (Lesley Rausch) ©Angela Sterling

Originally designed by Peter Docherty, Ronald Hynd’s interpretation of this classic fairy tale allows the story of Princess Aurora to shine in all of its classical splendor!

Comprising seven distinct scenes throughout the traditional four-act format, the fabulously elaborate costumes and scenery assist the choreography in telling Aurora’s story in a way that thrills and resonates with audiences of all ages. The beautiful and vivacious dancing is set in pristine royal courts, enchanting forests, and ruins overgrown with 100 years of neglect. In order to make this fairy tale come to life, the production utilizes 186 costumes and up to 59 wigs in each performance!

The Prologue: Aurora’s Christening

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The Fairies & Cavaliers

The story begins at the christening of the baby Princess Aurora. The royal court and invited guests of the King & Queen mingle in the grand hall of the palace. Soon, the magical fairies arrive in exquisite, be-winged tutus and glamorous feathered tiaras to bestow gifts upon the Princess, including beauty, temperament, purity, joy, generosity, wit & wisdom.

…But just before the Lilac Fairy has the opportunity to bestow her gift of wisdom, the christening is interrupted, as the uninvited Carabosse flies overhead and descends upon the party in a pyrotechnic flash! Extremely angry to have been left out, she terrorizes the Court with her pet snakes and threatens to place a curse on the Princess, which will cause her to prick her finger on a spindle from a spinning wheel and die on her 16th birthday.

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Carabosse flying over the party guests at the Christening ©Angela Sterling

The fairies and the King & Queen plead with Carabosse, begging her to not to curse the baby, but she is vengeful and determined.

Finally, realizing she has yet to give her gift, the Lilac Fairy intervenes. Rather than giving the planned gift of wisdom to the Princess Aurora, she instead counters Carabosse’s curse, reducing the strength of the curse from death to a sleep that can only be broken by true love’s kiss. With her plans foiled, Carabosse exits in a cloud of fury!

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The Lilac Fairy counteracts Carabosse’s curse ©Angela Sterling

Act One: Aurora’s 16th Birthday Party

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The Garland Dance ©Angela Sterling

The act opens in the pristine palace, which is bedecked with bright colors and flowers in honor of the Princess Aurora’s 16th birthday. Despite the sunny garden scene, the King is seen shewing textile workers in attempt to rid the Palace of all spindles, hoping to save his daughter from Carabosse’s curse. He even sentences the workers to death for breaking the law by bringing a spinning wheel in to the kingdom; however, the Queen begs him to reverse the sentence and convinces the King to let them go. Once all of the spindles have been cleared from the scene, the King & Queen relax and the party begins.

Soon after the famous Garland Dance, Aurora makes her grand entrance, as she and her friends arrive at the party.

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©Angela Sterling

Aurora’s Look:

Pink Moiré taffeta tutu trimmed with gold lace, gold motif and pearls.

Gold Tiara with pearls & pink stones.

Necklace with pearls & pink stones, rhinestone earrings.

Aurora is soon greeted by her suitors and does the honor of dancing with each of them in the famous Rose Adagio. Accepting a rose from each of them, she takes a turn dancing with all of them in great celebratory style.

Despite the King’s best efforts, the party takes a turn for the worse when Carabosse enters the palace. Disguised as an old woman, she gives Aurora a spindle.

Fascinated by an object that she has never seen before, Aurora begins to dance joyfully with the spindle; however, she soon pricks her finger and falls into a deep sleep.

The King, Queen and the people of the court fret over the Princess’s fate, wondering whether all hope is lost. Moments later, the Lilac Fairy appears to reassure the court that Aurora will awaken again one day.

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The Lilac Fairy (Carrie Imler) imbues a sword with magical powers ©Angela Sterling

She then casts a spell over the palace with the aid of her flying nymphs.

The act ends as the court succumbs to the same deep sleep as the Princess. Vines begin to grow around the palace to guard it against intrusion, and the Lilac Fairy anoints a sword with magical powers.

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As the scene ends, the fairies complete their spell over the sleeping palace ©Angela Sterling

Act Two: The Hunt, Vision, and Awakening

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The vision of Aurora, conjured by the Lilac Fairy, calls to the Prince ©Angela Sterling

The hunt scene is our first introduction to Prince Florimund, who is feeling unsatisfied despite the attempts of the Countess and his tutor, Gallison, to provide interest and merriment. The Aristocracy mingles with the country folk while engaging in games and social dancing. Despite all of the amusement on hand, the Prince is still preoccupied and unable to fully enjoy the moment.

Once the party dissolves, the Lilac fairy appears and presents the Prince with a vision of the Princess Aurora.

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The vision of Princess Aurora is revealed ©Angela Sterling
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©Angela Sterling

Aurora’s Look:

Off white & silver rip cord tutu with a purple/blue ombre.

Rhinestone tiara & earrings.

Crystal necklace.

Prince Florimund dances with Aurora’s vision amongst the nymphs before deciding to embark on the journey to Aurora aboard the Lilac Fairy’s boat.

Once inside the palace the Prince finds the magical sword and cuts through the overgrowth to get to Aurora’s bower. Upon entering the chamber, he is confronted by Carabosse. After defeating her, he is able to look upon the beauty of the sleeping Princess and revives her with true love’s kiss.

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True love’s kiss awakens the Princess ©Angela Sterling

Act Three: Aurora’s Wedding

Set once again in the grand hall of the palace, the wedding festivities begin with the court couples dancing a stately polonaise in lavish garments, which leads into the entrances of the King & Queen, as well as the invited fairy tale guests (seen below).

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Gold & Silver Pas de Trois ©Angela Sterling

The Gold & Silver trio dazzle with their brilliant dance sequences and solos.

The White Cat & Puss ‘n Boots delight while dancing a slinky game of cat and mouse while Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf tell their tale of meeting in the woods. The Bluebird and Princess Florine fly across the stage, charming the wedding guests with their playful partnered dancing and impressive leaps!

After the fairy tale characters entertain the court, the royal couple make their entrance and dance their wedding pas de deux, the embodiment of classicism, refinement & elegance.

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Princess Aurora & Prince Florimund in the final pas de deux ©Angela Sterling
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Lesley Rausch & Batkhurel Bold in the regal Wedding Pas de Deux ©Angela Sterling

Aurora’s Look:

White & silver tutu, heavily jeweled in crystal.

Jeweled tiara

Crystal necklace & rhinestone earrings

The ballet ends with a rousing Mazurka danced by the entire cast, finishing in a beautiful tableau in which the Lilac Fairy and Nymphs are seen watching over the palace, ensuring that the Aurora & Prince Florimund live happily ever after!

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The exquisite final tableaux ©Angela Sterling

Don’t miss Pacific Northwest Ballet’s final performances of this production of Ronald Hynd’s The Sleeping Beauty! Performances run February 1-10, 2019.

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