Review: Strictly gorgeous ballet at the Belgrade Theatre

Sleeping Beauty by the Moscow Ballet, Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, November 16.
Sleeping Beauty at the Belgrade Theatre.Sleeping Beauty at the Belgrade Theatre.
Sleeping Beauty at the Belgrade Theatre.

Sleeping Beauty is a sumptuous feast for all the senses. It is traditionally set with amazing costumes - and more. The set is magnificent, the dancing unbelievable and the music - albeit pre-recorded - out of this world.

Each half of the programme includes some great vignettes from the principal dancers – with the Lilac Fairy (Mayya Zaripova) and Princess Aurora (Ekaterina Shalyapina) featuring strongly.

The story had some subtle differences from the norm. Princess Aurora is born to the king and queen and is loved and protected. The fairies at the christening give her all the charm she needs but the uninvited bad fairy’s curse is a nasty one. She will prick her finger at 16 and die.

The Lilac Fairy has waited to give her gift and ameliorates matters by reducing the death sentence to a sleep of a hundred years. All needles are banished but, on Aurora’s birthday, an old woman appears with a bunch of flowers and a needle secreted within. Aurora’s sleep passes and the Lilac Fairy alerts the exceptionally handsome prince that the century of sleep is over and he wakes her with a kiss. She wakes the rest of the court and the jollifications of a great wedding feast get underway.

It is not without humour: the second half included some well-known pantomime characters including Puss in Boots, White Cat and Little Red Riding Hood.

It is always a delight to see children enjoying a show and I’m suspecting that some budding ballet stars were there to watch and learn from some of the best in the world.

There’s no other way to say this – this was a completely wonderful evening, glorious in so many ways and strictly gorgeous!

Jane Howard

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