The Power of a Kiss

by leslie frisbee

For the first time ever, Nevada Ballet Theatre features the full-length version of The Sleeping Beauty, when it opens its 45th season on Oct. 22 at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts.

One of the most beloved classical ballets of all time, no other work personifies ballet theater like Tchaikovsky’s The Sleeping Beauty.

Based on Charles Perrault’s 1697 fairytale The Sleeping Beauty in the Wood, the ballet tells the story of a wicked fairy, the beautiful Princess Aurora and a curse that leads to a century-long slumber for the entire kingdom, breakable only by a kiss from the handsome Prince Désiré.

First choreographed by Marius Petipa and performed at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia in 1890, The Sleeping Beauty is the second and arguably most revered of Tchaikovsky’s three great ballets — Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker.

Presented in a prologue and three acts, few other dance classics have a score so endlessly majestic and dynamic. Tchaikovsky himself claimed it one of his nest works ever.

Inspired by characters from Perrault’s classics, such as Puss in Boots and Little Red Riding Hood, the set dances in the ballet “offered the composer an individualized type of creation, leading to more characterful musical invention.”

That musical interpretation, combined with an enchanting atmosphere, harmonious worlds of mortals and immortals interacting, as well as a plot designed to take audiences on a magical journey has made The Sleeping Beauty the embodiment of a true fairytale.

Staged by James Can field with choreography after Marius Petipa, students from NBT’s affiliated Academy will join NBT’s professional company in this premiere production. Sets, props and costumes are provided courtesy of the Cincinnati Ballet.

Prior to both performances on Saturday, Oct. 22, and Sunday, Oct. 23, NBT will present “Insights,” a preperformance discussion and multimedia presentation open to all ticket holders. “Insights” will take place in the Troesh Studio 45 minutes before curtain at 6:45 p.m. on Saturday and 1:15 p.m. on Sunday.

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