Culture critic Madeline McInnis reviews Mindgame at the Belgrade, Coventry.Written by mmcinnis on 16th March 2018
Review: Birmingham Royal Ballet’s The Sleeping Beauty at the Birmingham Hippodrome
Culture Critic Bethan Lewis review's a 'magical' performance of The Sleeping Beauty by Birmingham Royal Ballet
Last night at the Birmingham Hippodrome, the audience was captivated by the charm and technical precision of the dancers who brought to life this classic and well-loved fairy tale. As a lover of traditional ballets, The Sleeping Beauty did not disappoint with its stunning technique, enchanting costumes and outstanding music by the Royal Ballet Sinfonia. Sir Peter Wright’s The Sleeping Beauty encapsulates classical ballet at its finest, with mesmerising solos to keep you on the edge of your seat throughout.
Princess Aurora is considered the most technically demanding role of all classical ballets, making this performance by Momoko Hirata even more impressive. Her effortless dancing was exquisite throughout as she delicately danced across the stage with flawless precision and elegance. From her immaculate solos to the grand pas de deux with Mathias Dingman as Prince Florimund, she continuously drew the audience in and excelled as Princess Aurora.
“Sir Peter Wright’s The Sleeping Beauty encapsulates classical ballet at its finest
The fairy tale begins with the evil Fairy Carabosse who casts a curse to kill Princess Aurora if she pricks her finger. From there the story unravels and luckily, the Lilac Fairy is there to save the Princess and casts a spell to send Aurora to sleep for 100 years. She is later woken by the kiss of Prince Florimund and they perform one of the most superb pas de deux dances I have seen in a while, and we watch in awe as this well-known fairy tale unfolds and we see good overcoming evil and extraordinary dancing at every turn.
Carabosse, the villain of the ballet, was performed incredibly by Nao Sakuma, who portrayed the wicked fairy with piercing eyes and bold movements. She gave a sharp contrast with her dark and mysterious costume to the grace and serenity of her counterpart, the Lilac Fairy, who glided across the stage in her flowing gown.
The male dancers were particularly impressive, with pirouettes remarkably fast and breath-taking strength demonstrated through every jump and lift. Their stunningly high jumps made it feel as if time slowed down as they hovered in mid-air for so long and gracefully leaped across the stage.
“Highly emotive music was accompanied by equally expressive dancers, whose raw emotion was shown through each facial expression and every graceful arm movement
Tchaikovsky’s music, performed by a live symphony orchestra, created such strong emotions from the darkness of the villain, Carabosse, to the enchanting nature of Princess Aurora. This highly emotive music was accompanied by equally expressive dancers, whose raw emotion was shown through each facial expression and every graceful arm movement.
True to the original version first performed in 1890, the Birmingham Royal Ballet’s production of The Sleeping Beauty was as enchanting and thrilling as you’d expect. With its ethereal and polished choreography by Marius Petipa, Lev Ivanov and Peter Wright, there’s no wonder that this famous ballet is still so popular today. Golden glitter fluttered across the stage as the wedding scene unfolded in the final act of the show, with cheers from the audience filling the theatre as the impeccable and magical ballet came to an end.
The Sleeping Beauty is performed at the Hippodrome until the 24th of February. More details can be found here.