Dream Away with Queensland Ballet's Sleeping Beauty
Queensland Ballet’s Sleeping Beauty transports audiences back to childhood magic and wonder with princesses, fairies and dragons. Showing from now until the 19th, this ballet is a must-see.
The QPAC Lyric Theatre stage is transformed into a royal castle, with grand columns, arched ceilings and a rotating marble staircase. The elaborate set seamlessly transitions from courtyard to forest scenes and back to the castle throughout the show. Set and costume designer Gary Harris certainly deserves his own round of applause.
Crammed into the orchestra pit beneath the stage is the Queensland Symphony Orchestra. Conductor Nigel Gaynor leads them through Tchaikovsky’s lush music and keeps precise timing with the dancers.
Choreographed by Greg Horsman, the production retells the classic fairy tale in two acts. Horsman blends new and traditional choreography with a flowing narrative, while maintaining the integrity of the original classical ballet.
Once upon a time… Act I introduces the king (Dylan Lackey) and queen (Brooke Ray) and their royal subjects in their palace, wearing lavish costumes. Yanela Piñera, Serena Green, Laura Tosar, Mia Heathcote and Chiara Gonzalez flit across the stage as five fairies in pastel tutus, presenting gifts to the newborn princess. Then, there’s a burst of thunder and the evil fairy Carabosse appears. Played by Georgia Swan, Carabosse is striking in her black tutu and dark make-up. She places a curse on the princess.
The scene shifts to a courtyard, decorated with garlands of flowers for princess Aurora’s 16th birthday. Led by Lou Spichtig and Liam Geck, the gardeners dance with their brooms, and the maids with their flowers. The king and queen enter, with four young princes. Aurora (Neneka Yoshida) dances with the princes in turn. Here, Neneka’s stamina and technique shines, holding her pose en pointe as she receives a red rose from each prince.
The dancing suddenly stops as Aurora is handed a black rose and pricks her finger. She collapses and the princes carry her away. The Lilac Fairy (Yanela Piñera) enchants the whole castle into a hundred-year sleep. Vines and darkness descend.
In Act II, we meet Prince Désiré, Victor Estévez, roaming in the forest. He encounters the Lilac Fairy, who tells him about Aurora. Company artists dressed as green and yellow forest fairies, fill the stage. The Prince dances with Aurora’s spirit and falls in love. Neneka and Victor dance with real sensitivity and emotion, moving together in harmony.
Prince Désiré travels through the forest to the vine-entangled castle. From within the darkness, emerges smoke, flames and a spectacular scaly dragon. Victor performs fast-paced ballet, accompanied by dramatic music and lighting.
The wedding encore is magnificent. Ensemble dancers, in gold and navy tutus, dance under starry skies. Bluebirds arrive in a golden cage. Lucy Green and Kohei Iwamoto fly across the stage in brilliant blue costumes in a complex pas de deux. Prince and Princess, Neneka and Victor, descend the marble staircase for their own glorious pas de deux. It’s happily ever after.
Sleeping Beauty runs from 4-19 June in the Lyric Theatre. Don’t miss out on this enchanting tale!
What: Queensland Ballet’s Sleeping Beauty
When: 4-19 June 2021
Where: QPAC Lyric Theatre, South Brisbane
Tickets: From $120. Discounts for concession, youth and child. Book here.