You only have to wait a few more days until BalletMet’s Sleeping Beauty opens at the Ohio Theatre! In order to prepare myself for the show, I watched the 1959 Disney film, based on the ballet, over the weekend. As I was watching, I realized that there are vast differences between the ballet and the animated classic. Here are just a few tidbits to help you make the transition from the movie to the ballet:
- Characters: When you are reading your playbill, don’t be surprised when some familiar names do not appear, such as Maleficent and Prince Phillip. (The evil fairy is named Carabosse and the Prince is Désiré.) There are a few more good fairies in the ballet and some unexpected appearances by other classic fairy tale characters, such as Red Riding Hood and Puss in Boots.
- Plot: Now I don’t want to give away too many details, but let’s just say that it’s not a spinning wheel that causes Princess Aurora to fall into her 100-year sleep (which in the ballet actually lasts 100 years!). Also, she does not live in the forest under the pseudonym Briar Rose.
- Music: The music for the Disney film was inspired by Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s composition for the ballet. However, since this is a ballet, no one will be belting out “Once Upon a Dream” or “I Wonder” (except maybe me at intermission).
Other fun facts about the ballet Sleeping Beauty:
- This is Tchaikovsky’s longest ballet, clocking in at around 4 hours with intermission. (BalletMet’s version is much shorter.)
- The first time Sleeping Beauty was performed was in 1890.
- Sleeping Beauty was the 2nd most popular ballet in the Imperial Ballet’s repertoire.
Two weeks ago, I attended the open rehearsal BalletMet had for Sleeping Beauty. Even though the characters were not in costume and did not have any props, I could tell this is going to be a beautiful show.