Friday, 2 December 2011

Sleeping Beauty – Royal New Zealand Ballet

We don’t often get to the ballet but we were glad we did last night.  This is a sumptuous production with wonderful staging and costumes which provide a lovely backdrop to the dancing.  The guest artist, Stella Abrera from the American Ballet Theatre, was a treat to watch.  She was elegant and made dancing look simple – which it certainly is not.  Her partner was good, too although the transparency of one set of his tights was a bit distracting.

Some of the costuming was done by Weta Workshops - and it was great.

The 2 "cats" injected a lovely dose of humour throughout the production.

My only criticism of the production is its length.  At almost 3 hours it felt long and the many little girls in the audience were definitely struggling with it.  I feel that if the artistic director had cut a few of the non-essential (read - sort of boring) party pieces by the men and a few of the female ones, the production would have been even better.

For non-ballet lovers in attendance, it would have been helpful to have a little narration at one or two points rather than relying on mime which looks weird to modern eyes.  I can hear the squeals of outrage from classical ballet freaks, now…

Also it was a shame that the programme didn’t name who was playing which role.

Overall, though it was an extremely good production and a credit to New Zealand ballet.

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