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by Bob Roberts

For five days at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, the supreme art of the Kirov Ballet in the form of Tschaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty was allowed to express itself. This ballet, known widely as his longest (it runs almost four hours with three intermissions) and best loved held the audience spellbound sufficiently that the time element was barely noticed.

The principal dancers on opening night, Diana Vishneva as Princess Aurora and Igor Zelensky as Prince Desire, left no doubt in anyone’s mind that the Kirov has produced dancers of the highest caliber. Miss Vishneva, although the technique and purity of her dancing reigned supreme, excelled in her own dramatic interpretation of the role as no other in recent memory. Also, these performances celebrated Miss Velensky’s tenth year with the Kirov. Zelensky, in his role as the prince, proved more than capable in his support, especially in the solos the role calls for.

A talented cast included Anton Korsakov as the Blue Bird, Igor Petrov as the Carabosse Fairy, Daria Pavlenko as Princess Florina and Victoria Tereshkina as the Diamond Fairy. The entire ensemble more than enhanced the overall effect of a once in a lifetime viewing experience.

The premiere of this ballet was first performed in 1890, at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia but was revised in 1952 in order to replace mime with dance sequences. The ballet is rarely performed due to the sheer size of the production, this performance included newly built sets and the costumes were designed by Simon Versaladze.

Sleeping Beauty will be the only ballet presented at the Dorothy Chandler this season with the traditional tutus in evidence, the other upcoming productions being of more modern interpretations. For schedules google "Dorothy Chandler Pavilion".


© 2008 Bonnie Carroll, All Rights Reserved