Stage Review: The Sleeping Beauty

I’ve always wanted to go to the ballet – always thought of it as something ‘I still want to do one day’. At the beginning of September I finally got my chance. A friend of mine bought four tickets and decided to turn this into a mother-daughter outing. What a beautiful experience it was.

In case you don’t already know, I love the theatre. Love. It. Not to act (I’m way too shy for that), but to experience the brilliance of how actors and actresses bring a story to life and transport the audience from one period to the next, from reality into the bliss of escapism. But the ballet was something different. It required (in my opinion) more focus in order to interpret and follow. Did you know that they don’t utter a single word?

Orchestral genius

The Cape Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Brandon Phillips set the scene for this spectacular performance right at the beginning. Having had the privilege to play with this world-class orchestra many moons ago (I played the violin in my previous life and our church orchestra was invited to play with them) I had a true appreciation for their gift. They really did the score justice.

Skilled danseuses and danseurs

Dancers from the Cape Town City Ballet provided top-notch entertainment from start to finish, carrying themselves with an air of elegance. Princess Aurora, the Prince, the evil witch, Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf, the fairies and others – they were all there. With storytelling on the one hand and the dancers’ amazing talent on the other, we were spellbound watching them execute every movement with technical precision from their heads to their talented toes.

Image credit: Artscape Theatre Centre
Image credit: Artscape Theatre Centre

Aesthetic pleasure

I’ve lost count of how many times I gasped, just because of the sheer visual beauty. Costumes that looked like they came straight out of a Jane Austen novel had us staring, blinking and staring some more, and fashion evolved as the story unfolded (well, the princess was asleep for a very long time!) with Elizabeth Bennet dresses giving way to outfits suitable for Downton Abbey’s Crawley sisters. The set was breathtaking and underwent jaw-dropping transformations, from the insides of the palace to an arresting balcony and intriguing woods.

I only have one piece of advice when it comes to the ballet (now that I’m such an expert [wink, wink]): if it’s a story you may have forgotten from your childhood, simply refresh your memory before attending the show. Just read a summary online. It’ll make it easier to follow.

Feature image credit: Andmor Photography

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2 thoughts on “Stage Review: The Sleeping Beauty

  1. Wow, wonderful review and you are spot on. Thank you for coming along to my very first ballet also, it was a moment of firsts and definitely got my taste buds tingling to make it a frequent indulgence

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