I haven't seen enough Sleeping Beautys on DVD to judge which is the definitive one, but of the four seen so far my favourite is tied between this and the Aurelie Dupont performance. The others were the 1989, which I really liked, and 1982, which I didn't care for, performances. This production is an absolute beauty to behold. The costumes are colourfully lavish and the settings alone are like stepping into a fairy-tale, a feeling you should have with The Sleeping Beauty. The choreography is intimate and graceful, and when it is performed it doesn't feel too clinical or cold. Tchaikovsky's ballet score is timeless, and the orchestral playing and conducting do it justice with controlled legato lines, soaring lyricism, poignant pathos, haunting intensity and rousing stylishness. The performances are also of a high standard. Wonderful especially is Alina Cojacaru, whose Aurora is youthful, very beautiful and tender with a gentle warmth in her presence. I found it remarkable at how her performance of the difficult Rose Adagio was done with such poise. Federico Bonelli is a dashing and heroic Prince with lovely pirouettes, while Marianela Nuñez is every bit of Cojacaru's equal in the technical and beauty department as the Lilac Fairy. The Carabose of Genesia Rosato is danced and played with such relish and sinister presence. The Act 1 Fairy variations were charmingly danced, while the dancing in Act 3 gives the meaning of the term fairy-tale bliss. The standout is Sarah Lamb who is beguiling in the Bluebird variation. In conclusion, a Sleeping Beauty that lives up to the second part of its title. 10/10 Bethany Cox
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