Sleeping Beauty

Sleeping Beauty.....I'd rather be Little Red Riding Hood<br/>

Feature by Philippa Cochrane | 05 Feb 2008
This production of the classic fairytale ballet by Scottish Ballet offers a useful guide to any fairytale girl on how to bag herself her very own Prince Charming. There is the route offered by our heroine Aurora: get yourself cursed at birth, preferably as the result of an oversight on your parents' part, prick your finger on your 16th birthday and then sleep soundly until the Prince in question wakens you with a kiss and fall madly in love, still as a 16 year old. Or you can follow the path chosen by the other well-known heroines who pop up in Ashley Page's production and go wandering in the woods, accompanying a stranger on a quest and scooping up a leftover Prince on the way.

Sleeping Beauty remains remarkably passive: incredibly beautiful but pure and resolutely childlike, resembling nothing so much as the ballerina on a child's jewellery box. Tomomi Sato is graceful, precise and engaging in the lead role but the heart of the production is found elsewhere. Limor Siv as Carabosse, the fairy who originally curses Aurora, if full of malevolent fun; imagine Bette Midler in Hocus Pocus but in a tutu. Aurora's Prince is convincingly brave while Eve Mutso's Lilac Fairy provides a calm and measured centre to proceedings. However, the piece really came alive through the presence of the four other fairytale heroines who are in the woods searching for their own 'happy ending'. When finally united with their princes, Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Belle and Snow White are allowed to come of age. In an amusing stroke of post modern intertextuality, they attend Aurora's wedding reception in killer frocks and their dance tells of real passion and romance.

One of the stated aims of the company with this, the third of its adaptations of classic fairytales, is to attract younger audiences to ballet. On the evidence of this performance, it is achieving this aim. Certainly, any little girl longing to be a ballerina will be delighted with the story of Aurora. And perhaps they'll go home taking a leaf from Little Red Riding Hood's book: find yourself the Prince that suits you, even if it's where you least expect, and always, always make sure you are wearing the best dress at the party.
Edinburgh Festival Theatre, Run ended