The Sleeping Beauty, Norwich

Lovers of traditional ballet in all its rather gaudy glory will not be disappointed by this version of Tchaikovsky's perennial favourite, The Sleeping Beauty, by the young dancers of the St Petersburg Ballet Theatre.

Lovers of traditional ballet in all its rather gaudy glory will not be disappointed by this version of Tchaikovsky's perennial favourite, The Sleeping Beauty, by the young dancers of the St Petersburg Ballet Theatre.

The company, made up of dancers from the Vaganova school, bills itself as offering “classic ballet performed the way it was intended” and this certainly rings true.

For a start it is an enormous company – around 40 in all with 16 in the corps de ballet – and the orchestra, conducted by Alesksandr Kantorov, numbers around 30 so this is clearly a big production affair which sets itself high targets.

The set, which changes frequently and becomes ever more ambitious, and the costumes, of which many are simply great works of art, are also worthy of any lavish production.


You may also want to watch:


Yet there is quite a difference between the principal dancers and the corps. Sleeping Beauty, performed by Irina Kolesnikova, is first class: delicate, emotive and technically excellent. Her prince, performed by Yuri Glukhikh, is equally noteworthy as are both the bad fairy, Carabosse, (Dymchik Saikeev) and the good fairy (Natalia Ryzhakova).

Perhaps because they all set themselves such high standards, the whole production occasionally seems a little disjointed and a few mistakes crept in on the opening night. Several in the audience felt, as many do, that the Theatre Royal's stage is too small for such large-scale shows.

Most Read

Overall, this is a textbook fairytale production which is lovely to watch. It's steeped in tradition, is very 19th century, and thus possibly appears a little too stagey to those used to more modern and dynamic dance productions from the likes of the Northern Ballet Theatre Company and the Rambert Dance Company.

But the music is a delight – and very familiar to many – and the show is sure to inspire lots of little girls who just dream about wafting around in masses of tulle and sequins.

And you cannot help but be impressed by these young and extremely self-disciplined dancers who are just starting out on their careers. We wish them well.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus