'Sleeping Beauty' wows some, not others

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The Tchaikovsky Ballet Theatre performed the classic ballet “Sleeping Beauty” at the Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center (PAC) last Friday, March 5.

TThe performance was a traditional rendition of the ballet with choreography after Marius Petipa and the renowned musical score by Peter Tchaikovsky.

Hailing from Perm, Russia, the Tchaikovsky Ballet Theatre has been in existence since the 1926 debut of the ballet “Giselle.” The company is known for its presentation of classical works, especially those set to Tchaikovsky scores. The Tchaikovsky Ballet Theatre came to Mercyhurst as part of their 2010 USA tour.

The ballet “Sleeping Beauty” as performed by the Tchaikovsky Ballet Theatre retells the well-known tale of Princess Aurora, who falls into a deep sleep because of an evil curse but is eventually awakened by true love’s kiss.

The ballet is performed in three acts, with the final act presenting the wedding of Princess Aurora and Prince Desire. At the wedding, many other fairy tale characters appear including Puss and Boots and the White Cat, Red Riding Hood and the Wolf, and the Blue Bird and his love Florina.

The “Sleeping Beauty” ballet incorporates many featured roles and divertissements, such as the different soloist fairies in the first and third acts, as well as the main soloists such as Princess Aurora and the Lilac Fairy. The corps de ballet also appears throughout the ballet in the court scenes as well as the vision sequence in the second act.

Many of the soloists danced well, although the corps de ballet and the court members throughout the performance left a bit to be desired. Maria Menshikova, who danced the role of Princess Aurora, danced beautifully and was arguably the most radiant aspect of the ballet. The performance also included stunning sets and vibrant costumes.
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Many, but not all, of the audience members appeared to enjoy the performance, and the dancers received a standing ovation during the curtain call. Senior Abbey Celarek said of the performance, “It was really amazing.”

Not everyone was equally satisfied, however, as some viewers were disappointed with both the technique and the performance of the dancers.

“It wasn’t really worth the $25 dollars for my ticket,” said one student audience member who asked to remain anonymous.
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The audience had a mixture of newcomers and dance aficionados, which may have added to the variety of views on the performance. “This was the first dance performance I ever went to, and it seemed pretty good,” freshman Michelle Denninger said.