Of the three productions I've seen of The Sleeping Beauty on DVD so far, this one is my favourite
The others I saw in this format were the 1989 and 1982 performances, I really liked the former, didn't care for the latter. I loved this one though. Some will be disappointed by the severe reduction of the Lilac Fairy's role, but seeing as the role was originally a mime role while different to what I'm used to I had no problem with it. The costumes and sets are absolutely gorgeous, I haven't seen a ballet production in a while that had this much beauty in the detail. The music is outstanding, one of Tchaikovsky's best overall scores, and is faultlessly performed by the orchestra and authoritatively conducted. The choreography is impeccable, technically difficult but altogether dazzling to watch. The staging is just as good, Carabosse especially has some really interesting touches especially when she mimes Aurora's finger-pricking fate rather than running around in lunatic fashion, and that delicious comic moment when she rips off a wig from the head of a court attendant. The dancers help in making the choreography even more sinister. Carabosse is very sinister, the Fairies are charming and the different variations are beautifully danced(though the omission of Red Riding Hood may be another disappointment for some). Manuel Legris is a dashing Prince Desire with superb pirouettes and a noble, regal bearing. But this is Aurelie Dupont's show, and she in the role of Aurora enchants in every scene she appears in, her dancing technique and sense of classical line are some of the best of any ballerina I've seen recently, she has a very expressive face and eyes so she never comes across as cold and her beautiful appearance and regality make her a person you cannot take your eyes off. She and Legris are very convincing together. Overall, I absolutely loved it, there are a couple of touches that are not going to be to everyone's liking- and I'd put it down to personal preference rather than anything else- but the lavish production values and Dupont's performance are enough to keep you captivated as it did me. 10/10 Bethany Cox
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