PNB’s take on ‘Sleeping Beauty’ big, lavish

  • By Gale Fiege Herald Writer
  • Wednesday, January 29, 2014 5:28pm
  • LifeGo-See-Do

“The Sleeping Beauty” was written by French author Charles Perrault in the 1600s. It is among his many stories for children, including “Cinderella,” “Little Red Riding Hood” and “Puss in Boots,” to have remained popular throughout the centuries.

About 200 years after the fairy tale was published, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky composed The Sleeping Beauty ballet, which was choreographed by Marius Petipa.

Now, nearly 125 years after the ballet’s debut, the story of Perrault’s “La Belle au bois dormant” is being told again by the Pacific Northwest Ballet.

The production, choreographed by Ronald Hynd and based on Petipa’s work, offers a chance to see some of classical ballet’s most technically grueling choreography, said PNB spokesman Gary Tucker.

The sets and costumes are lavish, the characters are big.

And the fairies fly.

For those who need a refresher about the story, the celebration of the birth of Princess Aurora is dimmed when the evil fairy Carabosse casts a spell, declaring that on her 16th birthday, Aurora will prick her finger and die.

The good Lilac fairy casts another spell over Aurora saying that rather than dying, the princes will fall into a deep sleep. It’s a spell that can be broken with a kiss from a prince.

Aurora is danced by Kaori Nakamura, who has been a Pacific Northwest Ballet principal dancer since 1998.

The Prince is played by Seth Orza, who was promoted to principal in 2010.

Lilac is portrayed by Laura Tisserand, who became a soloist in 2010.

Carabosse is danced by Jonathan Porretta, who became a principal dancer in 2005.

The ballet is staged Jan. 31 through Feb. 9 at McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer St., at the Seattle Center. Tickets range in price from $28 to $179. The PNB box office is open during the day Monday through Saturday and can be reached by calling 206-441-2424. Ask about discounts for young people.

Gale Fiege: 425-339-3427; gfiege@heraldnet.com.

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