The American Ballet Theatre has had a stellar season. La Fille Mal Gardee was hilarious, Le Corsaire was stunningly beautiful, and their newest ballet, The Sleeping Beauty, was a childlike embrace of dance. It was colorful, dreamy, and felt like it was plucked from the heart of a child.
I have never seen a ballet hold the heart of a child in it. Although adults will admire this ballet, as well, the awe will stem from their inner child. You will glaze with high spirits at seeing the characters that made your dream dance before you with precision and preciousness. The technique, as per usual of the American Ballet Theatre, is celestial. Hee Seo, whom has been the prima donna of the ballet company for 14 years, is always a delight on the stage. When you think of the bodily and spiritual discipline/dedication she has given to her starry dance, you have to be inspired. She goes “all out” for The Sleeping Beauty because it is the final show of the ABT’s magnificent run at The Metropolitan Opera House. Seo truly is a marvel of a dance, but, more importantly, she is a joy.
Absolutely, every dancer gave into happiness on that stage. More than previous shows, the energy and atmosphere felt pure and potent. I believe the oozing joy stems from the fact that The Sleeping Beauty is a fable. There were bound to be children in the audience, and as I saw them “Oooh” and “Awww”, I felt moved. It is in our childhood when we most dream. Where seeing is believing. Thus, when Puss in Boots humorously danced with his wife or Robin Hood perused through the stage with his friends, their eyes glistened at how tangible their imagination had become. Cinderella was before them and had found her slipper or Princess Aurora (The Sleeping Beauty) was awakened because of love. Fairies swirled and pirouetted across the stage. What wonder! Seeing them witness and learn virtue, helped me, an adult, see it, as well.
Beyond the glorious sets and fantastical costumes from Richard Hudson, there was a beating heart to The Sleeping Beauty production. There was an innate sense of youth and loving wonder to the production, which makes me recommend it for anyone and everyone. It really will spark within you a brightness. More than previous shows, this one felt family oriented and warm to the spirit. In addition, seeing the choreography of the legendary Marius Petipa is always a delight. Though this dance legend lived in the early 1900’s his choreography has grown to be timeless and definitive in the ballet world. The Sleeping Beauty will run until July 2.
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