Music: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky (Op. 66, 1889)
Choreography: Ronald Hynd (after Marius Petipa)
Staging: Ronald Hynd, Annette Page, and Amanda Eyles
Scenic and Costume Design: Peter Docherty
Lighting Design: Randall G. Chiarelli
Duration: 3 hours
Original Production Premiere: January 15, 1890; Imperial Ballet, St. Petersburg, choreography by Marius Petipa
Hynd Production Premiere: 1993; English National Ballet
Pacific Northwest Ballet Premiere: February 1, 2001
The Sleeping Beauty represents the pinnacle of 19th-century Russian ballet, a collaboration of dance, music, and design that continues to influence ballet today. The well-known story served as a foundation on which the ballet’s creators—composer Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, choreographer Marius Petipa, and designer and director of the St. Petersburg Imperial Theatres Ivan Vsevolozhsky—developed a work that demonstrated a century’s worth of achievements in classical dance. Coveted among ballerinas, the leading role of Princess Aurora offers opportunities for a rich display of classical technique and artistic interpretation, from the famed Rose Adagio to the elegiac “vision scene” adagio and finally the triumphant wedding pas de deux.
Pacific Northwest Ballet’s production of The Sleeping Beauty by English choreographer Ronald Hynd was originally set on English National Ballet and is based on the historic Royal Ballet version, with which Hynd and his wife, former Royal Ballet ballerina Annette Page, are intimately familiar. That production, in turn, was closely based on the original Sleeping Beauty of 1890.
Ronald Hynd has commented on his own history with The Sleeping Beauty: “In 1946, the Sadler’s Wells Ballet [now the Royal Ballet] re-opened the Royal Opera House with a sumptuous production of Marius Petipa’s choreographic masterpiece, The Sleeping Beauty. …As a teenage student I saw many performances during that 1946 season. A group of us, young hopeful dancers from the Rambert School of Ballet, would rush to the gallery whenever we could afford the two shillings and sixpence. …By the time I joined the company at Covent Garden in 1952, I seemed to know nearly every step of the work, absorbed no doubt by love and ambition. … Over the years, I had secretly nurtured an ambition to stage my own production of The Sleeping Beauty…Elizabeth Anderton, then Acting Artistic Director of English National Ballet, invited me to present this new staging in 1993 to mark the centenary of Tchaikovsky’s death.”
The Sleeping Beauty, Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam
Notes by Doug Fullington.