A magical fairy tale on the ballet stage danced to the wonderful music of one of Russia's greatest composers. An outstand piece from the Romantic repertoire, The Sleeping Beauty fuses together all the grace and virtuosity found in the greatest ballets.
The extraordinary technical demands of Marius Petipa's original choreography, considered one of the high points of classical ballet, offers dance companies an opportunity to display their talents. The ballet features Sir Peter Wright's reconception of Petipa's original ideas and stunning stage sets by Philip Prowse.
King Florestan and his wife have invited the Fairies from across their kingdom to the christening of their daughter Princess Aurora. As the fairies lavish fabulous gifts on the newborn, the outraged Carabosse bursts into the palace, furious that nobody has remembered to invite her to the festivities. She brings a spindle as a gift, but also places a curse on the princess: she will prick her finger on the spindle and die. Fortunately the Lilac Fairy still has her own gift to offer, which overrides the curse: Aurora will not die, but will instead fall into a deep sleep for a hundred years, and will be awakened by a Prince’s kiss.
The Court is celebrating Aurora’s 17th birthday. Four Princes have come to seek her hand in marriage and vie with each other for her favours. They present her with roses.
Suddenly Aurora notices an old woman, who also gives her flowers in which a spindle is hidden. Everyone tries to take it away from her fearing she may harm herself, but she refuses to let go of it and in her excitement does indeed draw blood as she pricks herself. She suffers great pain and collapses as the King and the Princes rush to her aid.
The Queen remembers Carabosse’s terrible prediction at Aurora’s christening and fears the worst. The old woman now throws back her cloak, revealing herself as Carabosse. The Lilac Fairy then appears to fulfil her promise and, using her magical powers, sends the entire Court to sleep and causes a dense forest to rise, completely hiding the Castle.
A hundred years later, Prince Florimund, from a neighbouring kingdom, is out hunting with members of his retinue in the forest protecting the Castle. He is joined by a countess whom he must marry but does not love. They pause from the chase for refreshment and then Gallison, Florimund’s equerry announces that a stag has been sighted and they all move off to continue the hunt.
Florimund himself, however, remains behind and ponders sadly on his loveless future. The Lilac Fairy now appears and shows him a vision of Aurora, with whom Florimund becomes enraptured, and he begs the fairy to take him to her. She leads him to the hidden Castle, where Aurora lies asleep. Carabosse attempts to prevent him from reaching her, but the Lilac Fairy banishes her from the kingdom forever. Florimund , instructed by the fairy, then awakens the Sleeping Beauty with a kiss. The spell has been broken, and they express their new found love for each other.
Fairy-tale characters arrive to take part in the wedding celebration between Aurora and the prince, where everyone dances happily. The Lilac Fairy appears and blesses the union, and they express their true love. Good has triumphed over evil.