New York City Ballet
The Sleeping Beauty 2010
Founders, George Balanchine and Lincoln Kirstein
Founding Choreographers: George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins
Ballet Master in Chief: Peter Martins
Ballet Mistress: Rosemary Dunleavy
Assistant to the Ballet Master in Chief: Sean Lavery
Guest Teacher: Merrill Ashley
Children’s Ballet Master: Garielle Whittle
Orchestra, Music Director: Fayçal Karoui
Chairman of the Board: John L. Vogelstein
Managing Dir. Communications and Special Projects: Robert Daniels
Assoc. Director Communications, Joe Guttridge
Assoc., Communications and Special Projects, Caitlin Gillette
The David H. Koch Theater, Lincoln Center
Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
February 4, 2010
(Read More NYC Ballet Reviews).
The Sleeping Beauty (1991): Music by Peter Ilyitch Tschaikovsky, Libretto by Marius Petipa and A. Vsevolozhsky, after stories by Charles Perrault and others, Choreography by Peter Martins (after Marius Petipa) (Garland Dance by George Balanchine), Scenery by David Mitchell, Costumes designed by Patricia Zipprodt, Costumes executed by Barbara Matera, Make-up, Hair, and Wigs designed by Michael Avedon, Lighting by Mark Stanley.
Sleeping Beauty was premiered at Maryinsky Theater, St. Petersburg, January 15, 1890. George Balanchine made his ballet debut in Sleeping Beauty, as a dancer in the Garland Waltz and as a cupid. For NYC Ballet’s 1981 Tschaikovsky Festival, George Balanchine choreographed the Garland Dance. Peter Martins included this Garland Dance in his 1991 staging. This production includes more than 100 dancers, including students from School of American Ballet, and 250 costumes. David Mitchell’s scenes create a mystical world and fairy tales. Patricia Zipprodt’s costumes follow paintings of the courts of Louis XIV and Louis XV. (NYCB Notes).
February 3, 2010 (Conductor: Andrews Sill)
Performed by: Tiler Peck as Princess Aurora; Gonzalo Garcia as Prince Désiré; Henry Seth as King Florestan; Dena Abergel as The Queen; Janie Taylor as The Lilac Fairy; Arch Higgins as Catalabutte; Georgina Pazcoguin as The Fairy Carabosse; Gretchen Smith as The Fairy of Tenderness; Lauren King as the Fairy of Vivacity; Ashley Laracey as The Fairy of Generosity; Stephanie Zungre as The Fairy of Eloquence; Gwyneth Muller as The Fairy of Courage; Adrian Danchig-Waring, Robert Fairchild, Sean Suozzi, Craig Hall as The Suitors; Amanda Hankes as The Countess; Austin Laurent as His Attendant; Ask la Cour, Kaitlyn Gilliland, Abi Stafford, Alina Dronova as The Jewels; Faye Arthurs and Adrian Danchig-Waring as The White Cat and Puss in Boots; Erica Pereira and Anthony Huxley as Princess Florine and The Bluebird; Fiona Brennan and Christian Tworzyanski as Little Red Riding Hood and The Wolf; Vincent Paradiso, Troy Schumacher, Giovanni Villalobos as The Court Jesters; the Company as The Cavaliers, The Lilac Fairy’s Attendants, The Court, The Maids of Honor, The Garland Dance Villagers, The Hunting Party, The Nymphs, and The Courtiers, and students from School of American Ballet.
February 4, 2010 (Conductor: Fayçal Karoui)
Performed by: Kathryn Morgan as Princess Aurora; Tyler Angle as Prince Désiré; Ask la Cour as King Florestan; Kaitlyn Gilliland as The Queen; Sara Mearns as The Lilac Fairy; Arch Higgins as Catalabutte; Marika Anderson as The Fairy Carabosse; Amanda Hankes as The Fairy of Tenderness; Sara Adams as the Fairy of Vivacity; Faye Arthurs as The Fairy of Generosity; Erica Pereira as The Fairy of Eloquence; Ana Sophia Scheller as The Fairy of Courage; Adrian Danchig-Waring, Justin Peck, Sean Suozzi, Henry Seth as The Suitors; Gwyneth Muller as The Countess; Giovanni Villalobos as His Attendant; Chase Finlay, Savannah Lowery, Ashley Laracey, and Lauren King as The Jewels; Stephanie Zungre and Sean Suozzi as The White Cat and Puss in Boots; Megan Fairchild and Andrew Veyette as Princess Florine and The Bluebird; Corinna Rhum and Henry Seth as Little Red Riding Hood and The Wolf; Ralph Ippolito, Allen Peiffer, and Daniel Ulbricht as The Court Jesters; the Company as The Cavaliers, The Lilac Fairy’s Attendants, The Court, The Maids of Honor, The Garland Dance Villagers, The Hunting Party, The Nymphs, and The Courtiers, and students from School of American Ballet.
This Season I chose two recently promoted ballerinas, both new and freshly rehearsed Auroras. Tiler Peck danced Aurora on February 3, and Kathryn Morgan on February 4, and they approached the role with decidedly different attitude, style, and results. Ms. Peck was like a gazelle, leaping about with a wide smile, rapidly passing from one Suitor to the next, as her Rose Adagio performance sped before our eyes in seamless success. Her elevations were proud and muscular, and she received the expected audience accolades at their completion. In contrast, Ms. Morgan was a wondrous ingénue, taking it more slowly, but with equal confidence. Her gaze was less at the audience (as was Ms. Peck’s) and more at the dancers onstage. She was even more youthful than Ms. Peck, tinier, but nuanced, textured, and fascinating. Her four Suitors treated her like rare porcelain, ever so gently, and she glowed from within.
As for Prince Désiré, Tyler Angle, on February 4, incredibly, did not seem possessed with desire, and the partnered chemistry with Ms. Morgan seemed tepid, whereas Gonzalo Garcia, on February 3, was always Ms. Peck’s quintessential Prince. I’d like to see alternate partnering next Season for serendipitous results. Offstage, on February 3, Andrews Sill filled in last minute as Conductor, and City Ballet Orchestra seemed to be on its own, less controlled by the dancers’ timing, and more controlled by the Conductor’s whim. On February 4, Fayçal Karoui returned, and the volume, tempo, and lush orchestrations were quite so different, a concert on their own, yet fully in sync with the stage. Maestro Karoui keeps the strings in tune and fully audible, and the full orchestra responds with pure musicality.
Peter Martins’ The Sleeping Beauty is lovely to watch and a joy to experience in every moment. His choreography allows for detailed drama (in The Vision scene, The Countess is visibly shaken at the Prince’s sudden aloofness, and in the earlier Christening scene, King Florestan is visibly shaken at Catalabutte’s guest list omission). The Garland Dance, which includes SAB students, is sweeping and impressionistic. With just one intermission, the action is more compact, more seamless, and more compelling. The Spell scene, which begins with Aurora’s 16th birthday arrival and the almost immediate Rose Adagio, is never rushed, as are other productions; rather, it flows, so that the audience bonds a bit with Aurora, before her monumental rite of passage, literally as the ballerina, and theatrically as Aurora. Mr. Martins’ Wedding scene cuts down repeat performances, like Princess Florine and The Bluebird, yet keeps all eyes on the Wedding guest entertainers.
In the Jewels dances, I was most impressed with Ask la Cour as Gold, who shone with elegant, leggy leaps and turns, Kaitlyn Gilliland as a glittering Diamond, Abi Stafford as a sprightly Ruby, and Lauren King as a captivating Emerald. Faye Arthurs and Adrian Danchig-Waring were mesmerizing as The White Cat and Puss in Boots on February 3, while Erica Pereira and Anthony Huxley danced with exceptional personality as Princess Florine and The Bluebird, also on February 3. Both Sara Mearns and Janie Taylor were smooth and effervescent as The Lilac Fairy, and on February 4, Gwyneth Muller (an artist to watch) exuded theatrical flourish as The Countess. On February 4, Ask la Cour and Kaitlyn Gilliland were refined and calibrated in their roles as King Florestan and The Queen. Both Georgina Pazcoguin and Marika Anderson were driven and dynamic as The Fairy Carabosse, using individual characterizations. Among the remaining five Fairies, Sara Adams as The Fairy of Vivacity, Erica Pereira as The Fairy of Eloquence, and Gwyneth Muller as The Fairy of Courage caught my eye.
Peter Martins’ The Sleeping Beauty is a ballet for all ages and all balletomanes.
Gonzalo Garcia and Tiler Peck
Peter Martins' "The Sleeping Beauty"
Courtesy of Paul Kolnik