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Sleeping Beauty: From the Royal Opera House cover photo

Sleeping Beauty: From the Royal Opera House 2010

Highly Recommended

Distributed by Distributed by Films Media Group, 132 West 31st St., 17th Floor, New York, NY 10001; 800-257-5126
Produced by Produced by Monica Mason, Christopher Newton
Directed by Director n/a
DVD, color, 88 min.

K- General Adult
Japan, Popular Culture, Music Trade, Singers

Date Entered: 08/08/2011

ALA Notable:
Reviewed by: Reviewed by Gerald Notaro, University Librarian, Nelson Poynter Memorial Library, University of South Florida, St. Petersburg

This Sleeping Beauty was created to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Royal Ballet, Covent Garden, based on the choreography of the legendary Marius Petipa. It is both a classic bonbon tribute and treat. The performances all around don’t disappoint. Alina Cojocaru is a tiny and believable Aurora, emotional and yet graceful. She is porcelain with speed and precision. Her classic Kiev training is evident with every jump and turn. Though a last minute replacement, Frederico Bonelli’s Royal Prince is noble and passionate, those looking for a showier version, look to Nureyev’s Paris Opera over-choreographed version.

Though no modern productions of Sleeping Beauty contain all of Tchaikovsky’s glorious music, here the cuts are minimal, and Ovskyanikov conducts the world-class orchestra to thrilling result. Some may quibble with tempo/tempi here and there, but all art is interpretation and subjective. The DVD’s technical credits, camera, sound, close-ups are first class. There is enough variation in the editing to create a performance feel while including all the advantages of intimacy. Though some elements of ballet production change through the years, a constant is usually “in the style” of choreography, here handled with care and dynamism by rising star choreographer Christopher Wheeldon. Yes, the 1946 production made Margot Fonteyn a star, but the preservation of the choreography proves the music and movement are the constant, not the performer or sets. Young children, most familiar with the tale, will especially enjoy this colorful and lively production. The Rats alone will have them squealing with delight. A highly recommended purchase for all collections.